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 Drs. Samantha Green and Edward Xie, Faculty Co-Leads 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.

Drs. Green and Xie host 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

Learn more about the Faculty Co-Leads in Climate Change and Health.

Health in a Changing Climate – Symposium Report

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.