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Joint statement from the Minister of Health, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Indigenous Services on COP28

Press Release

From: Health Canada

December 3, 2023

“Climate change is affecting human health around the globe. From extreme weather events to the spread of infectious diseases, we are seeing the consequences of the changing climate every day. As we face the challenge of climate change, strong and resilient health care systems are essential.

“This is one of the important themes being discussed at the Twenty-Eighth United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This year’s conference is hosting its first ever “Health Day” to highlight the link between climate change and health.

“At COP28, leaders from around the world have the opportunity to discuss the importance of adapting our health systems as our climate continues to change. This aligns with the Government of Canada’s plan to address the health effects of climate change and our commitment to work with other nations to safeguard the well-being of everyone.

“In June 2023, the Government of Canada launched the National Adaptation Strategy to establish a shared vision for climate resiliency across our nation. Through the Strategy, the Government of Canada will invest almost $43 million over the next five years to support the health sector and individuals in it to tackle health challenges caused by the effects of climate change. In the fall of 2022, the government invested $2 billion to implement the Strategy and support other adaptation-related activities. The Strategy allows Health Canada to work with partners to renew and expand the HealthADAPT program to support actions to build climate-resilient health systems and protect the population from extreme heat—a growing and urgent health risk.

“Today, Canada stands with its global partners to endorse the COP28 Declaration on Climate and Health. By endorsing this Declaration, we are highlighting the risks climate change poses to health as well as play an active role in global efforts to prioritize health in the face of environmental challenges.

“The Government of Canada recognizes that inclusivity and fairness must also play an integral role in the design and implementation of climate action initiatives. It is positive to see COP28 taking steps to address the wide-ranging impacts of climate change on human health and for providing an opportunity for all countries to share best practices on how to minimize these impacts. Many Indigenous communities in Canada are already leading the way to building a more climate-resilient future informed by local and traditional knowledge, through climate monitoring, adaptation solutions and clean energy.

“As COP28 unfolds and global leaders explore these important issues, we encourage everyone to deepen their understanding of the effects of climate change on our lives and our health and reaffirm our commitment to tackle climate change and fight for the health of humanity.”

The Honourable Mark Holland, P.C., M.P.
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, P.C., M.P.
The Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.

Contacts

Christopher Aoun
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health
613-291-4176

Kaitlin Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
819-230-1557
Kaitlin.Power@ec.gc.ca

Simon Ross
Director of Communications and Issues Management
Office of the Minister of Indigenous Services
simon.ross@sac-isc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Health Canada
613-957-2983
media@hc-sc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
media@ec.gc.ca

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
819-953-1160
media@sac-isc.gc.ca

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