New funds from the federal government are going to help Canadian communities – including the infrastructure that supports them – as they experience the impacts of climate change.

The Ministry of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Industry, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) announced a federal investment of $59.6 million over five years to amplify and expedite research initiatives that will help ensure communities have the knowledge and guidance – including codes, standards, guidelines, and tools – needed to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

“Climate risks can be reduced or avoided by making sure communities are designed to standards that address climate change,” said Chantal Guay, CEO of the Standards Council of Canada. “Using standards, decision-makers and professionals can better plan, construct, and maintain climate-resilient, nature-positive, and sustainable cities. Working with experts across Canada, we are ensuring they have the tools they need to adapt communities.”

This investment will build upon the current work funded by Infrastructure Canada to support the NRC-led Climate Resilient Built Environment (CRBE) initiative and the SCC-led Standards to Support Resilience in Infrastructure Program (SSRIP).

The CRBE initiative provides knowledge to adapt our public infrastructure where necessary, informs potential changes to building and infrastructure codes and standards, and creates guides, tools, and technical solutions to support resilience to climate change. This initiative will continue to support resilience across the construction sector, from design and decision-making to construction, operation, maintenance, and retrofit.

The SSRIP initiative delivers standards and related guidance that address priority areas such as heat, flooding, nature-based solutions, and transportation system resilience. The program is working with communities and beneficiaries to ensure that projects promote a consistent approach to climate change adaptation, increase resilience, and support informed decision-making for infrastructure and buildings across Canada.

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Making adaptation investments today will have major economy-wide benefits in the years to come. The research is clear, according to the Canadian Climate Institute for every dollar spent on adaptation measures today, $13-$15 will be returned in years ahead in direct and indirect benefits.

“Adaptation is about being better prepared to address and reduce the impacts of climate change, now and in the future,” said Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “For me, this announcement is about strengthening communities against climate risks. It illustrates our determination to continue to implement Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy, a whole-of-society blueprint to prepare for, and reduce the risks of, climate change through coordinated and ambitious action. Together, we have taken substantial strides towards building climate resilience in our communities and our economy.”

For further information, visit the CRBCPI initiative.

Featured image credit: Standards Council of Canada

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