"Climate change is the greatest challenge that we face and as social workers we are united in our call for immediate action from governments in Australia, and across the world. The changes confronting our environment because of global warming are already profound and extensive, making climate policy an urgent responsibility for governments"
AASW Declares a Climate Emergency, 2019
In line with our strategic plan the AASW is deeply commitment to working towards a sustainable and socially just environment through individual, cultural and structural change. As social workers, we work with communities who are hardest hit by climate change and we appreciate that while climate change is affecting the entire population, the social, health and economic burden is falling most heavily on already vulnerable people.
The AASW is engaging on climate action through various forms including:
- The AASW joined international colleagues through the IFSW to declare a climate emergency (globally and locally). We renewed our call for immediate climate action to address the most pressing issue of our time.
- The release of the AASW & Climate and Health Alliance Declaration on Climate Change.
- Launched the Climate Action AASW Online Group through the Social Work Australia Community Hub.
- Being a member of Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) , which is an alliance of organisations and people in the health sector who wish to see the threat of climate change and ecological degradation to human health addressed through prompt policy action.
- Continued advocacy to the federal government trough several submissions including the most recent Federal Election, Sustainable Development Goals inquiry and most recently a submission to the Climate Health WA Inquiry
- Submission to the Federal Government's Covid 19 inquiry calling for urgent climate action and major structural reform to achieve sustainable development.
- Advocacy to government through our work as part of the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) and several submissions.
- As part of CAHA, the AASW joined 22 groups representing health and medical professionals in Australia issuing a joint call to act on a “public health emergency” caused by smoke from the catastrophic bushfire season in New South Wales. (The Guardian, Governments must act on public health emergency from bushfire smoke, 16/12/19)
- Submission to the 2020 Preventative Health Strategy and 2021 forthcoming.
- Attended the Climate Strike across Australia and encouraged members to take part across the country
- We have also engaged in extensive SDG advocacy at numerous levels including representing the social work profession at the United Nations calling for climate action
- Our SDGs webpage has more information including our SDG student placement, policy actions and the SDG Action Group.
- AASW Senior Policy Advisor Dr Sebastian Cordoba has been appointed as the International Federation of Social Workers United Nations Asia Pacific Representative, advocating for social justice, human rights and achieving the SDGs.
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