OTTAWA, Nov. 28, 2018 /CNW/ - Canada's slow progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions is having a significant impacton the physical and mental health of Canadians, suggests a new brief published today by the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change. With support from the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), the
"Food insecurity, post-traumatic stress disorder, population displacement, trauma, cardiorespiratory impacts, and even deaths because of wildfires, floods, storms, heat waves and related poor air quality are some of the health concerns felt in Canada in the past few months alone," says lead author, Dr. Courtney Howard. "The lack of progress by our governments is affecting us today and will increasingly put public health infrastructure at risk."
The brief is launched in parallel with The 2018 report of The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, published in The Lancet today. It draws on Canada-specific data gathered for the global publication and includes the following recommendations on how Canada can generate a healthy response to climate change:
1. Ensure coordination between governmental departments, local governments and national institutions in order to:
2. Rapidly integrate climate change and health into the curriculum of all medical and health sciences faculties in Canada.
3. Increase ambition in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution in Canada, along with an emphasis on Just Transition policies to support fossil fuel workers as the energy economy transforms.
4. As unabated coal power is phased out in Canada, replace a minimum of 2/3 of it with renewable energy, with the rest coming from best-in-class gas powered electricity in a system designed to minimize fugitive methane emissions.
5. Apply carbon pricing instruments as soon and as broadly as possible, enhancing ambition gradually in a predictable manner, and integrate health-related and healthcare savings resulting from carbon pricing into ongoing policy decisions.
6. Ensure consistent, pro-active external communications by health bodies pointing out the links between climate change and health impacts in real time as events which have been shown to be increasing due to climate change (heat waves, spread of tick-borne disease, wildfires, extreme weather etc.) occur.
7. Fund increased study into the mental health impacts of climate change and psychosocial adaptation opportunities.
About the Lancet CountdownThe Lancet Countdown is an international research collaboration, providing a global overview of the relationship between public health and climate change. Publishing its findings in the Lancet medical journal, the initiative aims to help inform an accelerated response to climate change. Between now and 2030, this multidisciplinary partnership comprised of 24 academic institutions from every continent will be publishing yearly data-driven reports monitoring developments across a range of indicators on climate change health impacts, adaptation planning and resilience for health, mitigation actions and health co-benefits, economics and finance, and public and political engagement.
About the Canadian Public Health AssociationThe Canadian Public Health Association is the independent national voice and trusted advocate for public health, speaking up for people and populations to all levels of government. We champion health equity, social justice and evidence-informed decision-making. We leverage knowledge, identify and address emerging public health issues, and connect diverse communities of practice. We promote the public health perspective and evidence to government leaders and policy-makers. We are a catalyst for change that improves health and well-being for all.
About the Canadian Medical AssociationThe Canadian Medical Association unites physicians on national health and medical matters. Formed in Quebec City in 1867, the CMA's rich history of advocacy led to some of Canada's most important health policy changes. As we look to the future, the CMA will focus on advocating for a healthy population and a vibrant profession.
SOURCE Canadian Medical Association
Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!