Written by Olive Dempsey, Sustainability Consultant, Energy and Environmental Sustainability Team, LMFM

The Energy and Environmental Sustainability team will share a series of stories about the link between climate change and health, and local responses within the Lower Mainland and beyond.

It’s been called the defining health issue of the 21st century, and none of us are immune. When Dr. Margaret Chan, former director-general of the World Health Organization, sounded this alarm in 2007, she wasn’t talking about cancer or HIV or obesity. She was talking about the present-day and projected impacts of climate change.

In outlining the connections between increased global temperatures and phenomena such as changing disease paths, decreased food security, worsened respiratory illnesses, and much more, Dr. Chan pointed to the inseparable link between the health of our planet and the health of humans. According to Dr. Chan we cannot have one without the other. This makes the United Nations climate talks, such as those happening in Bonn, Germany this month, not just an environmental agreement, but a health treaty as well.

The health sector plays an important role in helping to build low-carbon and resilient communities. Over the coming weeks, the Energy and Environmental Sustainability team of the Lower Mainland Health Organizations will share a series of stories about the link between climate change and health, and the local responses taking place across the Lower Mainland and beyond.

For more information about the Canadian context, Dr. Courtney Howard’s interview with the CBC outlines the country-specific briefing she prepared for the Lancet’s recent Climate Change Countdown report.


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