Health Risks

Climate change poses numerous challenges for human health, from critical infrastructure challenges to new or exacerbated physical and mental health risks.

Global warming is associated with the spread of new diseases such as the projected threat of yellow fever, cholera, malaria and other vector-borne diseases spreading northwards due to warmer temperatures (as evidenced by the spread northward of Lyme disease and the onset of West Nile virus in North America), higher incidence of ailments associated with wetter, warmer temperatures, and the exacerbation of chronic illness conditions.

Climate-driven extreme weather patterns also pose major challenges for critical health facilities in terms of power outage risks, wildfire smoke and flooding impacts, emissions increases associated with rising cooling demand, and increased pressure on health systems due to spikes in demand.

ACT is currently working with provincial health authorities to examine how low carbon resilience can be built into capital project planning for critical facilities. In 2018, ACT released a case study on how this was achieved by the Christus Spohn Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas.