Health, climate, nature, and the economy are closely linked together. As Canada aims to meet its national targets to combat climate change, grow the clean economy, and conserve nature, it is important to recognize that these goals can also help create healthier Canadian communities. Investments in low-carbon infrastructure, like electric vehicles and renewable energy, nature-based solutions, like parks and trees, and the types of investments that form the backbone of a green economic recovery from periods of recession or pandemic have the opportunity to avoid adverse health outcomes, and offer material improvements in quality of life and well-being for Canadian communities.
Identifying and integrating these health considerations into decision-making can benefit policymakers in a number of ways: It can help make decisions that cost-effectively achieve positive health outcomes; it can bolster the economic case for investing in nature and low-carbon solutions; it can inform how investment decisions can drive more equitable health outcomes; and, it can ensure investments support greater resilience for communities across Canada. Our “Health, nature conservation and climate action” initiative empowers policymakers to realize these benefits by identifying health impacts associated with investments in low-carbon infrastructure and nature-based solutions, illustrating how they can be measured, and offering recommendations and considerations for more meaningful consideration on how conservation can create healthier communities.