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An open letter to the Prime Minister, the Honourable Tony Abbott, MP

A call for active leadership on climate change

This week the Journal publishes an open letter from 12 medical and health scientists to the Prime Minister urging that climate change be included on the agenda for the upcoming G20 meeting that he is hosting in Brisbane in November. The letter argues that climate change and health are interlocked with the global economy, and that vigorous and enlightened debate about the consequences of climate change on human health is justified at a meeting focused on international economics.

An interview with Professor Jeffrey D Sachs, a prominent American economist and Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University and past Chair of the World Health Organization’s Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, calls on Australia to show leadership. Sachs has served as special adviser to two Secretaries-General of the United Nations, first guiding the development and then the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, which seek to reduce global poverty, particularly through health gain for mothers and children and through reduced HIV and AIDS, by 50% by 2015. His primary concern today is with achieving sustainable development before a malignant tipping point occurs in global temperature.

The interview and the open letter both call for action from the Australian Government. We look forward to a positive response.