Lessons to be learned in relation to the Australian bushfire season 2019-20
The bushfires during the summer of 2019-20 were tragic for Australia, both for communities that were directly affected by fire through the loss of their homes and/or livelihoods; and for millions of Australians who were affected by the fires through exposure to smoke and witnessing the horrific scenes reported in the media. This has significantly impacted the health and wellbeing of Australians.
Whilst bushfires raged, Australia experienced its hottest year on record in 2019 in addition to the ongoing drought impacting many parts of the country. The George Institute believes high temperatures, bushfires and drought is largely due to human-induced climate change.
The long-term impacts of climate change on our health are not yet fully understood, particularly concerning prolonged exposure to smoke and pollutant particles. The Federal Government should be taking swift and comprehensive action to combat the impacts of climate change, according to recommendations by the World Health Organization, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 7, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 and The Paris Agreement.
The George Institute for Global Health welcomes the opportunity to contribute a submission to the Australian Senate on "Lessons to be learned in relation to the Australian bushfire season 2019-20".