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Climate Change Sensitivity Profiles for 33 New Brunswick Health Council Communities

Category(s): Health
Status: Closed
Principal: Ted McDonald
Project Number: P0081
Year Approved: 2021

Project Description

The NB HealthADAPT project is a multi-year initiative funded by Health Canada to test tools for conducting climate change and health vulnerability assessments (CCHVAA) in an urban and rural setting. The pilot communities are the City of Moncton (urban) and the Region of Chaleur (rural). As part of this larger initiative, the NB Department of Health is partnering with NB-IRDT on related work to characterize baseline health-related vulnerabilities to climate change for all communities in NB so as to inform future efforts across the province.  
Vulnerability to climate change is defined as exposure to climate risks plus the population’s sensitivity to those risks, offset by the community’s ability to cope (adaptive capacity). Climate change hazards of concern are extreme temperatures (heat and cold), extreme weather events, air quality, water safety, food safety, food security, vector-borne diseases and UV radiation. 
Socio-economic indicators based on the social determinants of health have been identified as measures of sensitivity to climate change hazards in communities. Sensitivity is also based on individual health characteristics which are often exacerbated by climate change impacts. Health characteristics include pre-existing (chronic) conditions (e.g., asthma, COPD, myocardial infarction, and hypertension) as well as health impacts from exposure to climate hazards (e.g., lyme disease, water-borne illnesses). 


The objective is to develop climate change health-related sensitivity profiles for New Brunswick Health Council Communities that will facilitate community-based climate change and health vulnerability adaptation assessments to be undertaken throughout the province in the future. This is a baseline study (not a trend analysis) focusing on the burden of illness and demographic factors that contribute to sensitivity to climate change, but not on climate change impacts themselves. 


  1. Identify a set of sensitivity indicators for climate change to measure vulnerability of population health. 
  2. Collect data at an aggregation level that allows for reliable analysis while still resulting in localized information. 
  3. Analyze data based on the 33 NB Health Council Communities resulting in baseline climate change sensitivity indicators that impact health for all 33 HCC. 
  4. Prepare data in a form that can be used in a dashboard or printable report. 

Read the report: