Making the link between our health and climate change

08 April 2019

While Victoria’s health services and health workers are already seeing the impacts of climate change in the community, qualitative research conducted by Sustainability Victoria indicates very low public awareness about the link between health and climate change.

While 62 per cent of Victorians hold a general sense that climate change will have a negative impact on human health in the future, the study revealed levels of understanding of how and who’s health will be impacted is low or non-existent.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), deaths caused by climate change are estimated to reach 250,000 each year between 2030 and 2050, with Australia’s population highly vulnerable to climate extremes.

One study participant said, “I have never thought there is direct influence between climate change and health – but after reading those statements (from WHO), we need to stop and think.

The study details findings from a series of in-depth interviews and focus groups commissioned by Sustainability Victoria looking into awareness and knowledge of the links between health and climate change.

This study has informed the next stage of research which will include a state-wide quantitative survey among the public and health professionals, to be undertaken in May–June 2019.

For more information, view our research page.