New guidance for health decision makers to measure the climate resilience of health systems

Tuesday, May 31, 2022
by Chantal Vallis

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

For over 20 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been supporting efforts to prepare for the health systems challenges posed by climate change. Their latest report, Measuring the Climate Resilience of Health Systems, was written by a team of authors, including IC3 member Peter Berry and University of Waterloo PhD candidate Paddy Enright, and outlines a framework and candidate indicators for measuring progress towards protecting individuals and health systems from climate change impacts. 

The report is significant for Canada as many health authorities have undertaken climate and health vulnerability and adaptation assessments, and have started taking adaptation actions. They are now seeking information and approaches to gauge whether they are making progress in protecting health. This document can help advise on that process.

“As the risks of climate change to health continue to increase, health authorities in Canada need to regularly monitor and evaluate their efforts to protect Canadians, particularly those most disproportionately impacted" says Peter Berry. "This new report from the World Health Organization provides helpful information for these officials to chart progress towards developing more climate resilient individuals, communities and health systems.”

The report is also complimentary to the national climate change and health assessment report released earlier in February this year, Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action.

About the authors 


Peter Berry

Peter Berry is an IC3 member, Senior Policy Analyst and Science Advisor at the Climate Change and Innovation Bureau at Health Canada. He also serves as a professor in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo and in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University. He is also involved in a number of collaborations to plan for climate change impacts including with the World Health Organization, the World Meteorological Organization’s Study Group on Integrated Climate, and Health Services and Health Canada’s HealthADAPT initiative.


Paddy Enright

Paddy Enright is a Policy Analyst at Health Canada’s Climate Change and Innovation Bureau. Paddy has completed a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Geography from Bishop’s University and a M.Sc. in Bioresource Engineering from McGill University. Paddy is currently a PhD candidate within the Department of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo. In his PhD research, Paddy is exploring means of fostering climate-resilience within rural Canadian health systems.


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On March 9, the University of Waterloo's Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change hosted an informative discussion on the findings of Health Canada's latest national report, Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate. The lead authors, Peter Berry, Rebekka Schnitter and Paddy Enright, reflected on key insights from the wide-ranging report and highlighted the priority knowledge gaps facing Canadians. This was followed by a Q&A with a panel of Waterloo's climate change and health experts, moderated by Dean of Faculty of Health, Lili Liu. Learn more about the key findings from the authors and the reflections from IC3 climate change experts.