top of page

Canada opens public consultations on national climate adaptation strategy

Canada launched the public consultation phase of a national climate adaptation strategy on Monday, aimed at developing its first-ever framework to help cope with increasing natural disasters and other severe impacts from global warming.

During the three-month consultation period Canadians are being asked for input on how communities and businesses should prepare for climate-related disasters like wildfires, rising sea levels and melting permafrost.

The climate in Canada is warming twice as fast as the global average, and the consultation comes as recent flooding displaces communities in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories.

"No corner of Canada is untouched, the costs of climate change are mounting in all parts of the country," Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault told a news conference, adding that in the last few years the impacts of climate change had cost the country C$30 billion ($23.28 billion).

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," he said.

Canada is aiming to cut climate-warming carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050. Guilbeault said the country needs to work simultaneously on reducing carbon pollution and preparing for the impacts of climate change as temperatures rise.

Recent extreme weather events include a series of atmospheric rivers that flooded British Columbia in November and a record-breaking "heat dome" in western Canada last summer that was followed by destructive wildfires.

Ottawa plans to release the final adaptation strategy by fall 2022. It will focus on long-term and short-term goals for Canada's economy, infrastructure, disaster resilience, natural environment and the health and well-being of Canadians.

Short-term priorities include enhancing food security, updating building codes and expanding Canada's network of trained responders for when natural disasters strike.

Analysts at the Canadian Climate Institute think tank said Canada is lagging other countries in preparing for the impacts of climate change, and the new strategy would help address the underinvestment to date.

Original source: Reuters


bottom of page