AMA President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, welcomes the Prime Minister's decision to ratify the Kyoto Protocol as a sign that Australia will take a leading international role in addressing the impact that climate change is having and will have on human health.
Australia signing on to the Kyoto Protocol was one of the key recommendations of the AMA's 2004 Position Statement on Climate Change and Human Health.
"The AMA firmly believes that climate change resulting from global warming may lead to adverse health effects, and that human health is ultimately dependent on the health of the planet and its ecosystem," Dr Capolingua said.
"It is important that we reduce greenhouse gas emissions to improve the health of the planet and slow the impact of climate change and global warming.
"The health impacts of climate change include water quantity and quality, food supplies, heat related illness, and vector borne diseases.
"It is possible to minimise the health effects of climate change through improved energy efficiency, clean energy production, and other emission reduction steps.
"The AMA supports research, education, prevention, monitoring, and assessment relating to the public health issues that may arise from climate change.
"We would welcome the opportunity to provide clinician input to these programs.
"By signing the Kyoto Protocol the Government has made a significant contribution towards addressing one of the biggest environmental and health challenges of our time," Dr Capolingua said.