Lung Association Urges Individuals and Government to take Urgent Climate Action
August 12, 2021. Fredericton. The International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) has released a new report providing the most up-to-date physical understanding of the climate system and climate change. The science is clear: human activities have and continue to influence our climate. And climate change is the greatest threat to public health of the 21st century.
Urgent and meaningful reductions in CO2 emissions are needed. Climate change is already disrupting and destroying the ecosystems upon which we all rely for food, housing, and clothing. Air quality is reduced as a result of increased frequency and intensity of forest fires and longer pollen seasons. Climate change is a threat not only to our health, but to humanity’s very existence on this planet.
The report reaffirms that every tonne of CO2 emitted adds to global warming. This means that any reduction on emissions helps to prevent the worst-case-scenario of climate change. Many parallels can be drawn between the way the world responded to the COVID-19 public health crisis and what experts agree needs to be done to prevent the worst-case-scenario of climate change:
1. People must change their behaviours in the interest of protecting themselves and others;
2. Prevention and timely mitigation are crucial to crisis management; and
3. Addressing a global crisis requires long-term commitments.
“The longer we take to implement concrete policies, the closer we come to being overwhelmed with devastating, irreversible changes to our environment and jeopardizing our health and well-being,” said Melanie Langille, President and CEO of the New Brunswick Lung Association, “The good news is, there are many ways for individuals to reduce their own emissions right away and to support governments in implementing Net Zero policies.”
The Lung Association indicates that individuals can take simple actions to reduce their own CO2 emissions. Eating more plant-based proteins and choosing active transportation benefit your health and wellness while reducing your own CO2 emissions. Plastics are made from the fossil fuels that are driving climate change. Reducing your use of plastic cuts down on emissions and prevents pollution.
With a federal election on the horizon, the time is right for all Canadians to speak up about what matters most to them. The Lung Association urges everyone to share their values with the people making decisions on Parliament Hill by emailing, calling, or arranging an in-person or video meeting, and to vote in upcoming elections.
Contact: Melanie Langille, M.Env.Sc., President and CEO
The Lung Association – New Brunswick
(506) 455-8961 ext. 110
(506) 304-5115 (cell)
Additional Information: The New Brunswick Lung Association has long been doing great work focused around how climate change will affect the quality of our air, and has branched out even broader into health effects of climate change not limited to lung health. With that in mind, we launched a project called the Foundation for Resilient Health (RESILIENT). RESILIENT builds upon the trust that New Brunswickers have in NB Lung, and utilizes our extensive experience in taking complex science and health topics, and boiling it down into easy to understand language, and giving people actions they can take to protect their health.
The referenced study is available here: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis.
Additional context on how needed climate action parallels actions taken during the pandemic.
More simple and effective individual climate actions: How You Can Protect The Planet
We encourage every Canadian to get involved in the policies that affect us all. Our Members of Parliament (MPs) are responsible for making decisions that reflect the needs of people living in their ridings. Voice your opinion on a bill coming up for vote, or simply discuss what is important to you. Don’t know how to reach your MP? Use your postal code to search current members of parliament to find their name, phone number, local constituency office address, and email address. It is easy to share your values with the people making decisions on Parliament Hill.
Pick up the phone. Perhaps one of the simplest and well received ways to engage your MP. Write a letter. Deliver it to your MP’s local constituency office or mail it to them in Ottawa. Letters to MPs in the House of Commons do not require a stamp! Address your letter to:
[Name of Member of Parliament]
House of Commons
Write an email. MP’s email addresses are included in their contact information. Schedule an in-person or video meeting.