Climate change is one of the most significant problems facing the world today.
Since the mid 20th century, human activity has been the most influential contributor to global warming and we are already experiencing the consequences in extreme weather patterns, including recurrent heat waves, excessive flooding, more frequent hurricanes, and droughts. In Canada, the impacts of climate change are most prominent in what is taking shape in northern communities. Environmental changes affecting Inuit livelihood impact mental health and wellbeing requiring investment into the social determinants of health. Social workers have a very important role in humanizing climate change by highlighting the ways that it is intricately tied to social inequities and how that impacts individuals and communities at the most fundamental level – the right to be who you are. Despite the challenges facing northern communities, their ability to adapt through the support of Indigenous knowledges must be acknowledged and integrated into policy approaches that reflect their unique needs and cultural identities.
As a profession founded in principles of social justice, CASW acknowledges the reality of climate change and encourages social workers to educate, advocate, and be the change they want to see in the world.