National Adaptation Strategy released

Nov. 28, 2022 — THE FEDERAL government has earmarked more than $164m to improve access to flood maps as part of its new National Adaptation Strategy.

It has also committed to investing up to $284m to enhance community wildfire prevention and mitigation activities, support innovation in wildland fire knowledge and research and establish a centre of excellence for Wildland Fire Innovation and Resilience.

The investments to enhance emergency management and disaster risk reduction capabilities are among $1.6bn the government has pledged to spend over the next five years to make Canada more resilient to the effects of climate change.

The strategy also includes plans to revise building codes and standards for infrastructure.

Up to $490m will be provided to top up the federal government’s Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund and another $60m will be spent to accelerate the use of climate-informed codes, standards and guidelines for resilient infrastructures.

Meanwhile, the Green Municipal Fund, which is also backed by the federal government, will receive up to $530m to support community-based  adaptation initiatives in collaboration with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

The strategy establishes long-term goals along with medium-term objectives. 

To reach those aims, the government has presented a series of short-term adaptation  plans that outline priority actions in five-year periods.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada has been advocating for a national strategy for several years and provided input on its development.

“We think the National Adaptation Strategy is a brave and creative step forward,” said Jason Clark, national director of climate change advocacy at the IBC.

“The centrepiece is the action plans and actionable targets.”

He said the short-term action plans are key, as five years is a realistic timeframe to meet achievable targets and make investments to drive progress while allowing stakeholders to assess the success of the strategy.

If the government is able to achieve what it has set out for the next five years, Canada will be in a far better place then than it is today, Mr. Clark said.

The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction has also applauded the strategy.

The p&c industry-funded research institute said in a release that it believes there is significant potential for benefits through the implementation of actions such as those set out in the new federal plan.

“Most losses from flooding, wildfire, severe wind and other climate extremes are preventable through the application of proven scientific findings,” said Paul Kovacs, executive director of the ICLR.

“The strategy and plan clearly reflect advice provided by the institute and other entities who contributed to the development of these important reports.”

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