Canadians are increasingly aware of the impacts of climate change, including more frequent and severe storms, coastal erosion, sea-level rise, and inland flooding. New support for Atlantic Canada will help better protect infrastructure and ensure public health and safety.

Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced $1.65 million in federal funding, over the next three years, to support the launch and operation of a new regional hub for climate services. Based in Sackville, New Brunswick, CLIMAtlantic will serve the four Atlantic provinces.

“CLIMAtlantic is the newest addition to ECCC’s growing network of organizations with climate expertise, supported by our department’s Canadian Centre for Climate Services. This new hub is a great example of federal-provincial cooperation and is part of the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to take concrete action and help Canadians adapt to climate change,” said Wilkinson. He added that the localized climate information for will help organizations, local governments, and businesses integrate climate change into their planning and decision-making.

Once fully staffed and operational this fall, CLIMAtlantic will provide accessible, regional, and authoritative climate information, data, tools, and training. This will help businesses, community organizations and governments integrate climate information into decision making.

Establishing this new regional centre is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to provide Canadians with the data and tools they need to adapt to climate change. CLIMAtlantic will help ensure those who live and work in the Atlantic Region have access to tailored local climate information and services.

According to Sabine Dietz, executive director of CLIMAtlantic, the network includes Ouranos (Quebec), the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (BC), and ClimateWest (Prairies). “Collaboration is at the core of each of these regional climate centres. Regional climate data hubs support efforts to make all communities more resilient to extreme weather events. Better access to region-specific climate data means that businesses and individuals can better plan for the future,” said Dietz.

Using best-in-class data and information to understand the potential impacts of climate change will help communities build their resilience.

Gary Crossman, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change in New Brunswick.

“New Brunswick is extremely pleased with the collaboration that has taken place over the past two years between the Atlantic provinces and the federal government that has brought this great initiative to fruition,” said Gary Crossman, New Brunswick’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. “CLIMAtlantic is made up of seasoned climate change adaptation professionals, who will make this a world-class climate change services centre that will significantly advance Atlantic Canada’s collective resilience to the impacts of climate change.”

Severe weather events in 2020—one of the warmest years on record—caused $2.4 billion in insured damage in Canada, the fourth highest annual damage figure on record (Insurance Bureau of Canada, 2021).

In Atlantic Canada, sea-level rise over the century is expected to exceed the global average, increasing risks from flooding events in coastal communities, and associated damage caused by the interaction of higher sea levels, storm surges, high tides, and heavy precipitation.

Featured image from Government of Canada.

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