Individuals and communities are happy, healthy and enjoy quality of life

Goal Feedback 1.3

Health impacts of climate change are recognised and addressed

Climate change affects health in many ways

It directly effects the increased intensity and frequency of extreme weather events such as prolonged heatwaves, floods and bushfires; and indirectly through worsening air quality, changes in the spread of infectious diseases, risks to food safety and drinking water quality, and effects on mental health. Regional communities already face challenges when trying to access health services. Climate change impacts will place additional strains on these services.

Objective Feedback 1.3.1

The mental health and wellbeing impacts of climate change are recognised and supported

Climate change can affect people’s mental health in a number of ways, both directly and indirectly.

Emergency events may have resulted in loss or damage of homes or livelihoods that take a significant toll on mental health. Key climate risks are also impacting our green spaces and recreational activities that we need to support our wellbeing. Extreme heat, heatwaves and resulting lack of sleep can also affect mental health.

For young people and parents of children, fear of what the future holds is increasing anxiety and distress.

Providing communities with opportunities to implement adaptation on an individual and community level, as well as within the natural environment, could remove a sense of disempowerment or lack of control that can be associated with the enormity of climate change.

Creative projects have an important role to play in engaging people in climate change and adaptation including celebrating diversity, encouraging innovation, and providing a sense of hope and inspiration.

Objective Feedback 1.3.2

People and communities enjoy a good quality of life

Being able to relax and enjoy a good quality of quality of life is vital to the overall health and wellbeing of communities.

One of the learnings from COVID lockdowns has been how important access to green space is to our mental health. Climate change impacts on lifestyle and leisure activities (as well as tourism) include inhibited access to state forests, waterways and outdoor spaces due to extreme weather. Low rain or extreme rainfall will impact both indoor and outdoor sporting and recreational facilities, along with heatwaves and increased hot days impacting organised sport seasons, playing times and spectator comfort.

Objective Feedback 1.3.3