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Heat waves, droughts, bushfires, and floods are threatening our health and well-being. No one is immune to the impacts of these events, but for people and communities experiencing disadvantage, the results are catastrophic. 

Those who can’t cover the cost of insurance face long-term homelessness when their homes are destroyed by floods and fires. Those who can’t afford to have or run air conditioning when the mercury hits 40 degrees are hospitalised with heat stress. And those who can’t install solar panels to lower their energy costs may be forced to go without food and medicine to pay their gas and electricity bills.

We need to address the issue at its root cause and lower our carbon emissions as quickly as possible, to protect the health of our community. But we need to ensure that people aren’t left behind in the process.  

In the past, policies to address climate impacts have disproportionately benefited people with money and choices. If we learn lessons from the past and put people and communities facing disadvantage at the centre of our response, we can ensure the energy transition to net zero emissions improves the lives of people from the cities to the outback. 

Through the energy transformation, governments have the opportunity to create new jobs, make transport more affordable, bring down the price of energy bills, and ensure homes are cooler in the summer and safer from storms, fires, and floods. Our campaign is calling on governments to take fair, fast, and inclusive climate change action. 

The Fair, Fast, and Inclusive Climate Change Action campaign is an initiative of the Australian Council of Social Service. Click here to learn more.