Prepared by Kim Perrotta MHSc, Executive Director, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) May 30, 2019
People are anxious about climate change; worried about the future we are creating for our children; and saddened by what we are doing to our planet and ecosystems. In April 2019, CAPE released a new toolkit – Climate Change Toolkit for Health Professionals. I produced and edited this Toolkit as a resource that can be used by health professionals who want to become move actively engaged in the issue. The Toolkit includes eight stand alone but complementary modules and seven fact sheets; all of which are freely available from the CAPE website in both English and French:
- Module 1 provides a solid foundation on climate science and international agreements;
- Module 2 summarizes the health impacts associated with climate change on a global scale;
- Module 3 describes the health risks presented by climate change across Canada;
- Module 4 discusses the major sources of climate emissions and the trends over time in emissions for each province and territory and for Canada as a whole;
- Module 5 provides a good base of information on the health co-benefits associated with a number of climate solutions;
- Module 6 discusses the actions that can be taken in health care facilities to mitigate and adapt to climate change;
- Module 7 discusses the actions that can be taken in our communities to minimize the health impacts associated with climate change; and
- Module 8 presents different ways that health professionals can engage in the issue.
CAPE staff and its Board agree with the World Health Organization that climate change is “the greatest health threat of the 21st century” but we also agree with the Lancet Commission on Climate Change that “tackling climate change can be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century”.
As health professionals, we have an important role to play in the debate on climate change; we can help build support for action with the public and decision-makers by focusing attention on the health impacts associated with climate change and on the significant health co-benefits that can result from the actions needed to fight it.