Protecting our climate will protect health, and implementing evidence-based policies that consider action to meet targets on global warming, the economy, taxes and health together should be a priority for Canada's government, argues an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
"Canadians, assisted by the media, appear to think that climate change, health, taxes and the economy are separate," writes Dr. Kirsten Patrick, deputy editor, CMAJ. "But they are not. They are intimately connected. And framing them as a single problem could help people to understand and support practical policies aimed at stalling climate change."
She argues that the minority Liberal government and the other political parties must tackle the important issues that Canadians say they care about -- climate change, health, taxes and the economy -- using a "health in all policies" approach that seeks policy synergy to optimize health and equity.
Growing evidence shows that the costs of mitigating against climate change will more than pay off in the future through what scientists have called "health co-benefits."
"Put plainly, our society will save more in the future by avoiding the unexpected health effects of climate change than we will spend now on the green infrastructure, carbon taxes and personal lifestyle changes that are required to meet international targets to hold global warming below 1.5-2°C," writes Dr. Patrick.