The impact of climate change on human health is accelerating at an alarming pace. Urgent action is needed if we are to mitigate this impact.
From extreme heat in Western Canada to wildfire-related evacuations and increased respiratory distress across the country, the climate crisis is no longer a vague future threat; it is here now, and its impacts are inequitably distributed.
While the Canadian Medical Association has supported Canada’s previously stated commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we believe more needs to be done. We are therefore committing to be a full participant in the development and implementation of a comprehensive and robust plan to prevent further climate change and address the health consequences that are already affecting Canadians.
This plan must include:
- A climate preparation and adaptation strategy to respond to current and future challenges posed to health and health systems by climate change
- Further commitments to decrease greenhouse gas emissions to prevent additional impacts
- A detailed pathway to a net-zero economy and health care system
- Measures to prioritize and protect the health of structurally marginalized and vulnerable populations, including those living in rural and remote communities
Tackling the climate crisis is a significant and necessary opportunity to improve the health outcomes of Canadians today and in the future. We must put health considerations at the heart of our climate change responses.
Dr. Ann Collins, CMA President