Climate Change and Health

Climate change is a global issue, and we are already experiencing its effects at the community level. In Waterloo Region, weather is expected to become warmer, wetter and more extreme. Changes in the weather and environment can worsen existing health issues and create new ones.

Climate change can affect everyone, but some groups are more vulnerable than others because of exposure, sensitivity, or their ability to adapt. Vulnerable populations include seniors, children, the immunocompromised, those experiencing socioeconomic disadvantages and those who work or spend considerable amount of time outdoors.

Being prepared for the impacts of climate change can better protect the health of our community and ourselves. Region of Waterloo has made the environment and climate change a strategic priority and is working across departments to support change and build resiliency throughout the region’s municipalities. 

What is Region of Waterloo Public Health doing?

Region of Waterloo Public Health has many programs and services to address current and future health impacts of climate change including:

In April 2022, Region of Waterloo Public Health released a Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Assessment in partnership with Wellington-Dufferin Guelph Public Health. The assessment is a valuable tool for Waterloo Region to take action based on evidence and mark progress over time.

Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Assessment

The report focuses on seven key areas of concern:

  • Extreme temperatures
  • Ultraviolet radiation
  • Extreme weather
  • Food- and water-borne illnesses
  • Air quality
  • Vector-borne and zoonotic diseases
  • Mental health

The report has been divided into chapters. Each chapter includes:

  • Key findings
  • Climate change projections
  • Population-level vulnerabilities related to exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity
  • Examples of existing adaptive actions
  • Baseline health impacts
Report breakdown by chapter

More climate change information and resources

 

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