Canadian Medical Association

Physician Changemakers

Dr. Courtney Howard

Dr. Courtney Howard

It was in a slum in Djibouti, in 2010, where Dr. Courtney Howard hardened her resolve to fight the negative impacts of climate change on health. Working at a clinic run by Doctors without Borders, she saw hundreds of infants and children suffering from malnutrition. Many were dying.

Dr. Courtney Howard's full story

More physician stories

Planet Earth

2017 Health Canada poll


of Canadians are convinced that climate change is happening

Planet Earth

2017 Health Canada poll

1 in 2

Canadians believe climate change is a current health risk

Planet Earth

Lancet Countdown 2018 Report: Briefing for Canadian Policymakers


is how much observed temperatures in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, have increased in the past 50 years

Planet Earth

Lancet Countdown 2018 Report: Briefing for Canadian Policymakers


people are estimated to have died as a direct result of the July 2018 heat wave in Quebec

CMA activity and submissions


October 20, 2021

2021 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change Policy Brief for Canada

The CMA co-authored this report which highlights the effects of climate change on health and health systems. The report examines issues including the government’s relationship with the fossil fuel industry, adaptation measures and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

October 4, 2021

CMA supports the São Paulo Declaration on Planetary Health

The CMA signs the São Paulo Declaration on Planetary Health, which has garnered support from more than 250 organizations to create a more equitable and resilient post-pandemic world.

January 21, 2021

Learning from the pandemic – Transforming and improving Quebec’s health care system

This submission for the 2021–2022 Quebec government budget outlines CMA recommendations on physician wellness, access to virtual care, the care of older persons and Indigenous peoples, and the health impacts of climate change.

December 2, 2020

CMA Statement on Lancet Global Countdown on the Impact of Climate Change on Health

The CMA supports the findings published in the Lancet Countdown Policy Brief: Canada which highlights the growing impact of extreme heat and air pollution on health.

September 9, 2020

CMA supports Global Climate and Health Alliance (GCHA)

CMA signs $120,000 grant agreement to support GCHA initiatives to improve climate change adaptation, address health inequities caused by climate change and promote sustainable healthcare.

February 5, 2020

CMA submission: Climate governance in Quebec

In this submission to the Quebec Committee on Transportation and the Environment on Bill 44, the CMA recommends a health representative be part of the minister’s advisory committee, and a portion of the Green Fund be dedicated to greening health systems

August 2, 2019

CMA submission: Acting on Today’s and Tomorrow’s Health Care Needs

The CMA’s pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance provides recommendations to improve access to primary care, better prepare for and mitigate the health impacts of a changing climate, and more

March 19, 2019

CMA statement on Budget 2019

The CMA supports the federal government’s efforts to help Canada meet global climate change targets, calls for specific commitments to address the health effects of climate change

February 5, 2019

CMA joint statement to federal political parties on climate change

The CMA joins other health care associations in calling on federal parties to make climate solutions a priority in the 2019 federal election

November 29, 2018

CMA statement on the health effects of climate change

The CMA joins the Canadian Public Health Association in calling for the implementation of recommendations from the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change

June 2, 2014

CMA submission: Bill C-422 An Act respecting a National Lyme Disease Strategy

In this submission, the CMA recognizes the importance of reporting and monitoring infectious diseases in Canada that emerge in relation to global climate change

June 9, 2010

Climate Change and Human Health

The CMA publishes a policy on the health threats of climate change, underscoring the need for more education, health promotion, improved public policy and research to improve our understanding of the impacts and help plan for and mitigate the risks

Tools & Resources


The 2020 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change: Policy brief for Canada

The CMA supported this report highlighting the growing impact of extreme heat and air pollution on population health and providing recommendations for achieving a just and sustainable recovery from the simultaneous crisis of COVID-19.

Note: This version is currently not accessible. Please contact The Lancet if you need an accessible version.


Health Canada: Health effects of climate change

This website provides information on adapting to, assessing and understanding the health effects of climate change in Canada

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