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 both, the health impacts associated with climate change, and the significant health co-benefits that can result from the actions needed to fight climate change,
In May 2019, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) released a new resource, the Climate Change Toolkit for Health Professionals.
The toolkit was edited by Kim Perrotta, Executive Director For CAPE, to be a resource that can be used by health professionals who want to become more actively engaged in the fight against climate change.
The 240-page toolkit, which includes eight stand-alone but complementary modules , and seven fact sheets, can be accessed for free from the CAPE website in both English and French: Link to French & Link to English.
Module 1, which provides a solid foundation on climate science and international agreements, was prepared by Alice McGushin who works on the Lancet Countdown reports.
Module 2, which summarizes the health impacts associated with climate change on a global scale, was also prepared by Alice McGushin.
Module 3, which describes the health risks presented by climate change across Canada, was prepared by Helen Doyle, a public health professional with a long history of work on environmental health and climate change. It was also peer reviewed by Dr. Peter Barry from Health Canada along with CAPE staff and volunteers.
Module 4, which discusses the major sources of climate emissions and the trends over time for each province and territory, and for Canada as a whole, was prepared by Bora Plumptre who works for the Pembina Institute.
Module 5, which provides a good base of information on the health co-benefits associated with a number of climate solutions, was prepared by Ronald Macfarlane with input from Kim Perrotta. Ronald has a long history of work on environmental health issues for Toronto Public Health, where he was a Manager in the Healthy Public Policy Directorate, the United Nations Environment Program, and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.
Module 6, which discusses the actions that can be taken in health care facilities to mitigate and adapt to climate change, was prepared by Linda Varangu who is an Engineer and was the Executive Director for the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care for a decade.
Module 7 uses a case-study approach to present the actions that can be taken by public health organization and/or communities to minimize the health impacts associated with climate change that is now unavoidable. It was prepared by Carol Mee, a nurse who worked for many years on environmental health and climate issues for the Healthy Public Policy Directorate in Toronto Public Health, as a Health Promoter, Supervisor, and Manager.
Module 8, which was prepared by Kim Perrotta with input from Alice McGushin, describes a number of different ways in which health professionals can engage in the climate change issue.
Prepared by Kim Perrotta, Executive Director, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), June 1, 2019