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Research Snapshot: What do northern Ontario health professionals need for climate action in their roles?

EENet's Research Snapshots are brief, clear language summaries of research articles, presented in a user-friendly format.

This Research Snapshot is based on the article, “Perceptions of climate change and climate action among climate-engaged health professionals in Northern Ontario: A qualitative study” published in The Journal of Climate Change and Health in 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joclim.2021.100025

What you need to know

Health professionals in northern Ontario view climate change as a threat to current and future health. However, most feel somewhat uncomfortable and uncertain about engaging in climate action in their role as health professionals, so they are engaging with climate change issues outside their work.

This study highlights the need for collaboration among health professionals, climate scientists and local experts to prevent knowledge and engagement silos. It also stresses the need to establish a network of engaged northern health professionals to increase and diversify education. The researchers recommend that climate action should become an explicit part of every health professional’s role to eliminate feelings of uncertainty surrounding appropriateness of climate engagement, while mandating designated time to allocate and help balance demanding workloads.

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