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Quebec's public health directors pledge to take action on climate change

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Quebec's public health directors signed a public declaration Tuesday saying they recognize the impact of climate change on health and pledge to be part of the solution.

A total of 19 municipal, regional and provincial public health directors co-signed the declaration on the eve of the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai, UAE.

They say Quebecers' health in all regions of the province is already being threatened by climate change, stressing the need to make it a priority.

They pointed to flooding, heat waves and last summer's forest fires in northern Quebec as clear indicators that climate change is already adversely affecting our air quality and threatening our collective physical and mental health.

The text noted that nearly one in two Quebecers claim to have experienced eco-anxiety in the past year.

"Around the world, we are already seeing the impact of climate change on people's health, well-being and quality of life," the statement reads. "The scientific consensus is clear: climate change is caused by human activity, and there is still time to act to mitigate its causes and impacts."

The public health officials say they are going to take actions to fight the negative effects that will become more significant over time. They plan to promote public transit and active transit, such as cycling, to reduce greenhouse gases and noise, reducing our consumption of animal proteins, and effective energy transition.

They also mentioned climate justice, saying the heath conditions of all Quebecers must be equal no matter what their age, socio-economic profile or region.

"We're going to make sure that nobody is going to be left behind, because we know that we are not all equals facing climate changes and the crises that are going to be more frequent," said Dr. Mylene Drouin, Montreal's public health director.

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