Adapting to the Health Effects of Climate Change

Governments, industries, communities and individuals are working to reduce greenhouse emissions. At the same time, there are a variety of actions which can be taken to help minimize the risks to health.

Climate change "adaptation" refers to changes that we can make at many levels to reduce the health impacts from the hazards that a changing climate can generate, such as floods, extreme heat events, air pollution and infectious diseases.

In December 2007, the Government committed to help Canadians adapt to the challenges of a changing climate and its impacts. Several initiatives are underway, which will contribute to reducing health risks. They include:

  • improved climate change scenarios
  • regional adaptation work programs
  • assessment of key vulnerabilities in Northern/Inuit communities
  • climate and infectious health alert and response systems
  • climate change and health adaptation in Northern/Inuit communities

Many of these programs will build on current health policies and practices - such as infectious diseases monitoring and surveillance, and emergency preparedness and response planning.

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