Extreme weather events, changes in heat and rainfall patterns, and rising sea levels are affecting daily life in Canada, and its economy. In recent weeks, the Canadian government announced its commitment to address the catastrophic effects of natural disasters occurring across the country.
The unveiling of Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy by Environment and Climate Change Canada outlines the strategies and funding needed to adapt to changing climate patterns. With this framework, the Canadian government hopes to mitigate the effects of climate change and create resilient communities by targeting five key areas:
- Disaster resilience,
- Health and well-being,
- Nature and biodiversity,
- Infrastructure, and
- Economy and workers.
In 2018 the Government of Canada launched the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) to “invest in structural and natural infrastructure projects to increase the resilience of communities that are impacted by natural disasters triggered by climate change.” The 2021 federal budget included $1.375 billion in additional funds over 12 years to renew the DMAF. The funding occurs in two streams: $670 million dedicated to small projects, and the remaining funds allocated to larger scale projects.
With the National Adaptation Strategy in place, the Government of Canada is setting the stage for more detailed implementation in the future. The Insurance Bureau of Canada estimates that $5.3 billion per year is required from the public and private sectors to address climate change impacts in Canada. In addition to the federal plan, separate provincial and territorial action plans will continue their efforts on shared priorities, and Indigenous climate leadership will support self-determined action. The National Adaptation Strategy will be updated regularly, and used as a measurement framework to ensure accountability.
Canada will be hosting the seventh edition of the Adaptation Futures Conference in Montréal in October of 2023. The conference is being organized by Quebec collaborative climate hub Ouranos, in partnership with the World Adaptation Science Programme, and will attract policy makers, scientists, decision-makers and practitioners from around the globe; the Government of Canada is contributing $650,000 to support the event.
Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy will present opportunities for small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the areas of structural and natural infrastructural projects, clean water technologies, cooling technologies, and wildfire preparedness. Click here to view adaptation actions across the country.