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Opinion: Canada’s proposed National Adaptation Strategy must address climate change

September 13, 2022 
By Climate Proof Canada



Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy is expected to be completed within a few weeks and unveiled before the COP 27 international climate conference. While it promises to be a big step towards protecting those living in Canada from the increasing impacts of climate change, without short-term targets and measures to prepare us for the escalating floods, wildfires and extreme heat events we are already facing, it will be too little, too late.

Climate Proof Canada, a broad coalition of like-minded disaster relief, insurance, municipal and environmental organizations, is encouraging the federal government to take action now to create a culture of preparedness and build a more disaster-resilient country. We believe a National Adaptation Strategy will only be successful if it sets clear national targets that drive short-term actions and reduces the climate risks those living in Canada are facing today.

Federal government officials are proposing a National Adaptation Strategy that only focusses on vague and distant goals without any national plan to address them. While the longer-term impacts of the climate crisis must be addressed, considering the increasing number of extreme weather events already occurring across Canada, we cannot wait until 2030 to limit the impacts of climate change in this country.

The members of Climate Proof Canada are recommending the National Adaptation Strategy focus on setting more realistic targets as part of a five-year implementation plan starting in 2023 to protect those living in Canada from extreme heat, flood and wildfires.

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What gets measured gets done and without the use of targets, the National Adaptation Strategy will not provide the protection those living in Canada need today.

Preparedness for escalating extreme weather events is within Canada’s immediate grasp. The National Adaptation Strategy offers the potential of a coordinated approach, led by the department of Environment and Climate Change Canada, with support from the private sector and civil society organizations, to help make Canada weather-ready today.


Climate Proof Canada is an unprecedented coalition of insurance industry representatives, disaster relief organizations, municipalities, Indigenous organizations, environmental NGOs and university-based thought leaders. This coalition believes that Canada must prepare for the present and growing effects of climate change through building a more disaster-resilient country. The Coalition launched in June 2021 and will be active in the years ahead to encourage all orders of government and the private sector to collaborate on climate adaptation and disaster resilience. For more information visit Climate Proof Canada.

Climate Proof Canada Coalition Members

INSURANCE INDUSTRY

  • Aon
  • Aviva
  • Desjardins
  • Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies
  • Co-operators
  • Insurance Brokers’ Association of Canada
  • Insurance Bureau of Canada
  • Intact Financial Corporation
  • Property and Casualty Insurance
  • Compensation Corporation
  • Sun Life Financial
  • TD Insurance
  • Travelers
  • Wawanesa
  • Zurich Canada

MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT

  • Federation of Canadian Municipalities

INDIGENOUS ORGANIZATIONS

  • Métis National Council

DISASTER RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS

  • Canadian Red Cross

PRIVATE SECTOR

  • Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Forest Products Association of Canada
  • Genesis Resiliency
  • Surrey Board of Trade

PROVINCIAL ORGANIZATIONS

  • Conservation Ontario

ENVIRONMENTAL NGOS AND RESEARCH ORGANIZATIONS

  • Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
  • Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction
  • Intact Centre for Climate Adaptation
  • International Institute for Sustainable Development
  • Smart Prosperity Institute
  • The Pembina Institute


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