Canada’s $1.6 billion climate adaptation strategy sounds impressive — if it’s a head start

Cities are at the heart of Canada’s $1.6 billion, five-year climate resilience and adaptation strategy, with Ottawa following local governments to provide support to Canadians increasingly facing the threat of wildfires. vegetation, heat waves and catastrophic storms and floods.

The government’s national adaptation strategy “signals significant progress toward a Canada-wide approach to climate mitigation and adaptation,” the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) said in a statement last Thursday, welcoming a federal plan that has been in the works for two years. . “The announcement included a significant investment in the Green Municipal Fund (GMF) to support, accelerate and expand community climate adaptation initiatives.”

The strategy was also well received by Canada’s property and casualty insurance industry, which held seats on two of the five advisory committees that developed the plan. The Insurance Bureau of Canada hailed the initiative as “courageous” and “ambitious,” Canadian Underwriter reports.

The strategy envisions a country prepared to face the worst impacts of climate change, reports CBC News. Although he talks about several targets, he does not provide concrete numbers. The government says more detailed implementation plans will be released later.

Most of the adaptation funding goes to support communities, including $530 million for the GMF and a top-up of $491 million for the government’s Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF). Other budget lines include $164 million to improve Canadians’ access to flood mapping, $30 million to protect against extreme heat, $41 million for a pilot program to improve resilience in northern and coastal communities and $70 million for a national science assessment to improve climate data. .

“Just in the past few years, communities across the country have seen firsthand the devastating impact of extreme weather events,” said Infrastructure and Communities Minister Dominic LeBlanc. “We know these events will intensify,” he added, making the adaptation strategy “a key tool” guiding investments to protect Canadians from climate impacts.

But so far, the funding package is insufficient to offset the costs Canadians will pay to deal with the expected impacts of climate change, even after bundling it with $8 billion that Ottawa has already committed for climate adaptation, reports the Globe and Mail’s Adam Radwanksi. The Canadian Climate Institute predicts that the Canadian economy will lose $25 billion from climate impacts by 2025 – and $78 to $101 billion per year by 2050, depending on future greenhouse gas emissions of greenhouses – individual households bear most of these losses.

The government described last week’s announcement as an “advance”, suggesting more funding would be mobilized for adaptation in the future. “Clearly there will have to be significant investment from all orders of government and all Canadians across the country,” Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair told reporters.

In addition to funding, the adaptation strategy includes high-level policy goals and a proposal to harmonize federal, provincial and territorial adaptation priorities. The federal government presents the strategy as a “whole of society plan” that addresses five key aspects of building resilience – disaster response, infrastructure, nature and biodiversity, health and the economy.

Policy objectives are broadly worded, with no clear benchmarks for accountability – although an annex to the plan proposes explicit objectives that can lead to government action.

Still, the strategy “marks more progress than some had feared, after a tumultuous development process in which the government struggled to give adaptation the focus it deserves,” writes Radwanski.

This article was reprinted from The Energy Mix. You can read the original article here.

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