Communities across the country are experiencing the impacts of climate change, from extreme events such as wildfires, flooding, and heat waves to rising sea levels, melting ice and permafrost, highlighting the need for adaptation action to reduce costs and build resilience.
Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, and Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, have announced the released of Canada in a Changing Climate: National Issues Report, a national perspective on how climate change is impacting our environment, economy and many aspects of our daily lives and how we are adapting to these impacts.
“Climate change is happening now, and the impacts will only intensify. We need to know how to adapt to protect our communities and our economy. The National Issues Report helps us prepare, respond and build a more resilient Canada,” said O’Regan Jr.
“The National Issues Report is a stark reminder that Canadians are already feeling the effects of climate change through more extreme weather events like wildfires, floods and droughts,” added Wilkinson. “The cost of damages from these events is also rising, which is why the Government of Canada is currently developing a National Adaptation Strategy, guided and informed by the best available science. The Strategy is an important part of our plan to make communities cleaner, safer and more resilient for future generations.”
The report provides Canadians with a comprehensive synthesis of knowledge of climate change impacts, as well as examples of adaptation efforts underway to address them, and provides a foundation to inform decision-making and measures as the federal government develops Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy.
Key findings show that Canadian communities of all sizes are experiencing the impacts of climate change on their infrastructure, health, culture and economies, threatening Canada’s ecosystems and the vital services they provide, including access to freshwater. As these impacts will persist and intensify over time, urgent action is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase resilience to climate change through adaptation.
The report is part of Canada in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action, a collaborative national assessment process led by Natural Resources Canada, which forms the foundation for the ambitious action we need to take as we develop Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy.
In developing this report, Natural Resources Canada engaged experts from academic, government and non-governmental organizations as authors to assess and synthesize knowledge from peer-reviewed literature, government reports and Indigenous knowledge.
Alongside the report, Natural Resources Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Canadian Centre for Climate Services also launched the Map of Adaptation Actions, an interactive, online searchable map of climate change adaptation case studies from Canada, to increase access to useful information and resources supporting adaptation action.