Dr. Peter Berry, Senior Policy Analyst / Assistant Adjunct Professor,  Health Canada  



BIO - Since arriving at Health Canada in 1999, Dr. Peter Berry has conducted research in several areas related to climate change including health risks to Canadians, adaptive capacity, health vulnerability assessment and communicating climate change risks to the public. He is currently a Senior Policy Analyst and Science Advisor to the Director at the Climate Change and Innovation Bureau at Health Canada.
Peter actively participates in a number of collaborative efforts related to understanding the impacts of climate change on health and supporting the development of effective adaptation measures. Most recently he coauthored climate change and health assessment guidelines released by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care in Ontario and also similar guidelines tailored for small island developing states in the Caribbean that are forthcoming. He is the editor and an author for the next National Climate Change and Health Assessment Report being led by Health Canada to be released in 2021 and is a co-editor for a Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health on climate change and health assessments. Peter also serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo. 

Presentation  Title - Climate Extremes, Disasters and Human Health: Adaptation to Protect Canadians

Synopsis - Climate change has been identified as one of the major challenges for health this century. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that for the year 2030, 241,000 additional deaths will occur globally due to climate change. Canadians and their communities face increasing risks to health from climate change, including from very severe climate events. The health risks of climate change in Canada include increased morbidity and mortality related to a greater frequency and severity of extreme weather events (e.g., extreme heat, floods, hurricanes, ice storms, droughts); increased ambient and indoor air pollution; reduced recreational and drinking water quality; increased food contamination and threats to food security, the spread of vectors that cause disease and greater exposure to UV radiation. Climate change impacts can also affect economic livelihoods and the mental health of vulnerable populations.
In this presentation, Dr. Berry will present recent evidence of risks to the health of Canadians with a focus on climate-related extremes and disasters. He will discuss how Health Canada is supporting efforts by public health officials across the country to protect populations including through the completion of climate change and health vulnerability and adaptation assessments and the provision of guidance to prepare for extreme heat events. 

Key Points that an Attendee will take away from Peter's presentation:

  • A number of extreme weather events and hazards are increasing in Canada due to climate change
  • Climate-related hazards affect the health of Canadians 
  • Climate change is increasing the risk of very severe impacts on health from weather extremes and disasters
  • Opportunities exist for public health and emergency management officials to use evidence based information to reduce risks to the health of Canadians

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