Climate Change and Health

The negative impact of climate change on health is well established, with decades of evidence pointing to how climate change may intensify existing health effects or how new ones may emerge. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified climate change as the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century, as it directly impacts many social and environmental determinants of health such as clean air, safe drinking water, nutritious food supply and safe shelter. 

Climate change was incorporated into the Global Health and Social Accountability portfolio in response to increasing calls for primary care providers to address the effects of climate change on the communities they serve in their clinical work, scholarship and education.

Led by Dr. Samantha Green, Faculty Lead in Climate Change and Health, DFCM is exploring opportunities to integrate social accountability for climate change and health with the unique and essential skills of primary care through education, advocacy, scholarship and health system improvements.

Dr. Green hosts a regular community of practice that works together to take action, answer important questions and make sustainable change. If you would like to join in this work, please contact

[Webinar Recording] Heat-related illness: Who is at risk and how can we intervene in primary care?

Watch the recording


  • Dr. Samantha Green, DFCM Faculty Lead in Climate Change & Health & family physician at St. Michael's Hospital 
  • Dr. David Ng, UHN emergency physician

June 15, 2022

Accredited by CFPC for 1 Mainpro+ credit


  1. Identify heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and recognize which chronic medical conditions are exacerbated by extreme heat.
  2. Assess which of our patients are most vulnerable to heat-related illness and which of our patients are most at risk of exposure.
  3. Intervene to reduce harms associated with heat-related illness at the micro (patient), meso (clinic or community), and macro (policy) levels.

Sustainable Inhaler Prescribing

Did you know that there's a huge difference in the climate impact of inhalers?

The hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) propellant in metered-dose inhalers (MDI) is a potent greenhouse gas: 100 doses from an MDI is equivalent to a 290 km journey by car. Dry powder inhalers have a 30 times smaller carbon footprint, so switching can cut greenhouse gasses from inhalers by 97%.

Consider making the switch at your patient's next prescription renewal.