Climate Change

Lillypads on Georgian Bay

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What is Climate Change?

Climate change is the long-term shift in average weather patterns. The impacts of climate change are felt on a global, regional and local level, and pose a growing threat to human health.

How does it impact our environment?

Evidence suggests that in the northern Ontario region, average weather patterns will change more often and with more intensity. Locally, climate change is leading to more flooding, severe storms, extreme temperatures, poor air quality and the spread of new diseases, such as Lyme disease. Cycles of drier conditions followed by intense rainfall put our lakes and rivers - like Lake Nipssing, pictured here -  at risk of more bacteria contaminants and algae, making them unsafe for swimming and other activities we enjoy. Learn more in the Climate Change and Health in Northern Ontario report.

What does it have to do with Health?

These results have a direct and indirect impact on the physical, mental, social and spiritual health, especially seniors, young children, people living on low income, and people with chronic illness.

It’s important for everyone to understand and adapt to local impacts of climate change so we can protect the health of ourselves and our communities. Learn more in the Climate Change and Health Earth Day document from the Northern Ontario Climate Change Collaborative. 

The good news is that action on climate change has immediate health benefits.

Climate Action

At the Health Unit, we take action on climate change by:

  • Raising awareness about the connections between climate change and health
  • Helping inform and prioritize climate change recommendations for local policies and programs
  • Supporting the work of community partners, for example, the climate action planning work of ICECAP (Integrated Community Energy and Climate Action Plans), and
  • Promoting and supporting initiatives that have co-benefits for climate change and health, like active transportation, sustainable food systems and protected green spaces. 

How Can You Take Action?

1) Start by exploring the resources below.

2) Get involved in your community. There are groups and oganizations in our Health Unit district doing great work. Check them out:

3) Write to and speak with your elected officials, as well as your health care providers, about climate change and the ways it is impacting your health.

More Information

Related Topics

North Bay

345 Oak Street West
705-474-1400

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302
705-746-5801

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)
1-800-563-2808