Canada launched a new climate adaptation strategy with a commitment of over $1 billion

The document contains targets to protect Canadians from floods, wildfires and extreme heat

Canada's first climate adaptation strategy, unveiled today, commits the federal government to new targets for preventing deaths from extreme heat, reversing species loss, and protecting homes in areas prone to flooding and wildfires.

Environment and Climate Change Canada released the strategy – nearly two years in the making – on Prince Edward Island, one of the Atlantic provinces that felt the brunt of Hurricane Fiona in September.

The strategy envisions a country being prepared for the worst impacts of climate change. The high-level docs talk about multiple targets but don't give exact numbers. The government says its aim is to set the stage for a more detailed implementation plan to be unveiled later.

The government also announced $1.6 billion over five years in new funding to help jump-start work that needed to get done. The money is intended to enhance disaster response, protect Canadians from extreme heat and health effects, and supplement disaster mitigation and adaptation funds.

The funding needed from the public and private sectors to address climate change impacts in Canada is estimated at $5.3 billion per year, according to the Bureau of Insurance of Canada, a trade association that represents the industry.

A federal official speaking in the background told reporters on Thursday that the new funding was a "down payment" and acknowledged more would be needed to achieve the strategy's goals. Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair appeared to acknowledge this at the announcement.

"Clearly, there needs to be significant investment by all government orders and all Canadians across the country," Blair told reporters.

The NDP says that's not enough.

"This is a step in the right direction," said New Democratic emergency preparedness critic Richard Cannings. "It's just that it took so long.

"That's too little. We need a lot more ambition here to really do some meaningful things [to] prepare Canadians and communities for climate change."

While governments and communities have anticipated and planned for the impacts of climate change — which range from droughts and floods to loss of permafrost, infrastructure failure and stress on ecosystems — more needs to be achieved, the strategy document says.

"Our collective action was often insufficient or intermittent, and did not deliver the speed and scale of adaptation needed by communities in Canada," the document said.

Embedding climate change in all decision-making

Hoping to reorganize the country's approach, the strategy rests on several pillars: disaster resilience, health and well-being, nature and infrastructure.

Without going into specifics, the strategy outlines several targets — such as reducing the number of people affected or killed by floods, forest fires and extreme heat.

On the infrastructure front, the strategy calls for embedding "climate change in all decisions to find, plan, design, manage, adapt, operate and maintain infrastructure systems throughout their life cycle."

The strategy commits Canada to new construction guidelines and standards, especially in areas prone to forest fires, flooding and other climate-related threats.

It sets broad targets to halt and reverse loss of nature and biodiversity. Indigenous peoples, he said, must have the opportunity to protect their customary lands.

The strategy calls for expanding urban forests and wetlands in the urban landscape. These nature-based solutions have been shown to reduce emissions and minimize the impact of floods and heat waves on urban populations.

The most significant aspect of Thursday's plan is outlining these priorities, said Sarah Miller, adaptation research fellow at the Climate Institute of Canada. He added that some might be tempted to focus on how much money is needed.

"That's important because without [setting priorities], no amount of money is going to make a real difference," he said.

This strategy is meant to be a living document. The government promises to update it every five years and start issuing progress reports as early as 2025. This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS. 

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

Contact Form