Climate Change is Already Harming the Health of Canadians
Climate change is already harming the mental and physical health of Canadians – with wildfires, smoke-laden air, floods, emergency evacuations, power shortages, food insecurity, insect-borne diseases, hurricanes and heatwaves – that are becoming more frequent and more intense as the temperature rises.
Globally, climate change is having a devastating impact on human health. The World Health Organization estimates that heat waves, insect-borne diseases, malnutrition, and infectious diseases alone will claim 250,000 lives per year by 2030. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that 2oC of warming would be catastrophic for ecological systems and human health, forcing hundreds of millions of people into poverty by 2050.
Climate Solutions can produce Significant Health Benefits
The burning of fossil fuels is responsible for 7,100 early deaths and $53.5 billion in health-related costs each year in Canada. By reducing our use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, gasoline, diesel and natural gas, we can improve air quality, save lives, reduce chronic diseases, and cut healthcare costs while fighting climate change.
Chronic diseases cost Canada about $200 billion per year in health-related costs. By investing in public transit, cycling and walking, which increases physical activity, we can save lives, reduce chronic diseases and healthcare costs while fighting climate change.
We need to Act Fast to Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change
To keep global warming from exceeding 1.5oC, we must cut global emissions by 45% by 2030. This means we have 11 years to put the policies and programs needed in place. CAPE, working in collaboration with the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), the Urban Public Health Network (UPHN), and the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA), developed Call to Action on Climate Change and Health.