Prepared by Kim Perrotta, Executive Director
Over the last several years, we at CAPE have been inundated with requests from doctors, medical students, public health staff, and other health professionals: “Tell me what I can do to help fight climate change?” 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. Today CAPE is releasing a new toolkit – Climate Change Toolkit for Health Professionals – which has been created as a resource that can be used by CAPE members and other health professionals who want to become move actively engaged in the issue.
The modules in the Toolkit have been created to provide a solid foundation on climate science and international agreements, global health impacts and the health impacts being experienced in Canada, and the sources of and trends in climate emissions across Canada. It also provides a good base of information on the immediate health co-benefits associated with a number of climate solutions, the actions that can be taken in health care facilities to mitigate and adapt to climate change, the actions that can be taken in our communities to minimize the health impacts associated with climate change, and ideas about how health professionals can engage in the issue.
We see the Toolkit as an evolving resource. We plan to supplement the eight modules and seven factsheets with other resources, such as PPT presentations, over time. We would ask those of you who use the modules to let us know which module(s) you used, when you used them, and how, by dropping us a line at email@example.com. We would like to hear what elements worked well for you and any suggestions you have for improvements or additions to the Toolkit over time.
At CAPE, we 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 Commissions 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 among 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.