The program provides information and solutions to support the health sector as it adapts to the impacts of climate change
Ottawa – As outlined in the annual report of Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr Theresa Tam, Mobilizing Public Health Action on Climate Change in Canada, climate change is the largest health threat facing people in Canada and around the world. It is also placing increasing demands on our health care system. Through its Climate Change and Health Adaptation Capacity Building Program (HealthADAPT), the Government of Canada has taken action to support the health sector to prepare for, and respond to, the impacts of climate change.
In 2019, through HealthADAPT, Health Canada selected 10 Canadian health authorities across five provinces and territories to receive federal funding to develop projects that address climate-driven health risks. Close to $3.5 million in federal funding was provided over three years to support climate change and health efforts. The projects are now wrapping up, and providing insight to how Canada’s health care system can better adapt to the changing climate.
Today, almost three years since its launch, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, congratulates the HealthADAPT partners on their work to help their communities adapt to the impacts of climate change. Thanks to their dedication and efforts, the projects can serve as a foundation of adaptation for other health authorities across Canada.
Most of the HealthADAPT projects included an assessment to better understand how communities may be vulnerable to the impacts of climate change from a health perspective. Their results will help inform adaptation planning, ensuring greater resilience to, and better preparation for, future climate change events and impacts. Many of these health impacts can be prevented if Canada rapidly and substantially scales up efforts now to adapt to growing threats to health from climate change.
Moving forward, a new network of health authorities from across the country, the HealthADAPT community of practice, will continue to collaborate and share best practices, and receive technical support from climate change and health experts at Health Canada.
“Climate change is the single biggest threat to human health and without urgent action, it will continue to result in injury, illness and death. A strengthened public health system is a key partner on climate action, including by helping communities understand and adapt to the inevitable effects of a changing climate. These HealthADAPT projects will help us achieve just that.” – Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health