Alberta Coal Phase-Out

We are currently working in Alberta, seeking a province-wide phase out of coal-fired power which contributes to respiratory illness. Please send an email to Alberta’s Premier saying that you support a coal-free Alberta. Visit the Alberta coal phase-out coalition website for more information.

The Lancet has called climate change the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, and the World Health Organization estimates that the direct damage costs to health of the changing climate will be between US$ 2-4 billion/year by 2030. Malnutrition, diarrheal disease, respiratory disease, vector-borne disease, illness secondary to extreme heat, and mental illness will all increase. This is not a problem of the future: the head of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, former head of global health at Harvard, predicts increasing conflict over scarcer food and water in the next 5-10 years. Dr Kim has called for a multidisciplinary team similar to the one that has been so successful in the fight against HIV/AIDS to now address the health effects of climate change. CAPE aims to be an essential part of that team in Canada.

There are many things that we can do that not only decrease greenhouse gases, thereby improving health in the long-run, but which have immediate positive health benefits for Canadians. To that end, CAPE promotes the phase-out of coal-fired power across Canada. Coal combustion is a major source of greenhouse gases, mercury, lead, and sulphur dioxide. CAPE played a pivotal role in Ontario’s decision to shut its coal fleet by 2014 – one of the most important climate change mitigation projects in the world. Currently the organization is working to phase-out coal plants in Alberta and Nova Scotia. CAPE would like to see coal replaced by a full suite of renewable sources and robust energy conservation programs.

CAPE also helps to support individual health care providers and physicians across Canada as they work to improve environmental health and support low-carbon policies in their own communities. Please see our interactive map and our MD Links section for resources, and contact us for mentorship. We love helping MDs grow in their role as advocates for a healthy climate!

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