A new coalition believes that Canada has the opportunity to better protect people from the growing effects of climate change and help communities prepare for – and adapt to – future challenges, including the increasing risk of climate-related disasters.

Climate Proof Canada is a broad coalition of insurance industry representatives, municipalities, Indigenous organizations, environmental non-government organizations (NGOs) and research organizations. The coalition is encouraging the federal government to take action now to create a culture of preparedness and build a more disaster-resilient country.

To address this growing challenge across a massive country, the coalition recommends that governments need to develop the capacity to better coordinate strategy and implement actions that keep communities safe from the increasing impacts of severe weather.

That is why the Climate Proof Canada coalition is calling on the federal government to better defend Canadians by:

  • Prioritizing the completion of the National Climate Adaptation Strategy, ensuring it protects people and infrastructure from the threat of increased flooding, wildfire, heat, drought and extreme weather events, with specific recognition of and attention to the disproportionate impacts of these events on Indigenous peoples and vulnerable communities. This strategy should incorporate measurable targets, leverage private-sector capacity and promote nature-based solutions;
  • Appointing an advisor on national disaster resilience to inform and advise Cabinet and the Prime Minister’s Office on the rapidly changing landscape of climate-based and other risks;
  • Extending and enhancing its recent work to reduce the risk and impact of flooding across Canada; and
  • Ensuring that sustainable finance initiatives help public and private sector organizations assess, disclose and manage escalating physical risks.

Like many countries, Canada is taking steps to reduce emissions as part of its commitment to fighting climate change. But Canadians are already seeing and feeling the effects of the changing climate – including more frequent and intense floods, wildfires, and hailstorms.

“Insured losses related to natural catastrophic events averaged $2 billion per year between 2009 and 2020, compared with an average of $422 million per year in the 1983 to 2008 period,” noted Craig Stewart, vice-president, federal affairs, Insurance Bureau of Canada. “Last year alone, these losses were $2.4 billion. That’s more than a four-fold increase in such losses caused by severe weather events, which are increasingly attributed to climate change.”

The Climate Proof Canada coalition believes that with prompt and comprehensive government action, Canada can be better positioned to cope with these emerging and accelerating challenges.

“At the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, we know that the climate crisis is a health crisis,” said Dr. Claudel Pétrin-Desrosiers, board member, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. “Our patients are already suffering health problems caused by wildfires, polluted air and extreme heat. In order to protect our health, it is as essential that our communities have all the needed tools and resources to properly adapt to the growing environmental disruptions as it is to rapidly decrease our greenhouse gas emissions. A national adaptation strategy is key to reducing social inequities and ensuring a healthy future for all.”

 

“Extreme weather events from 2010–2019, caused more than $14.5 billion in losses to the Canadian economy,” said Aaron Henry, senior director of Natural Resources and Sustainable Growth, Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “This is more than 60% of the extreme weather event losses of the last four decades combined. Climate change–induced extreme weather events are not a hypothetical risk, but are here and have already uprooted communities, destroyed critical infrastructures and created mental health challenges. We are happy to join this coalition and stand behind its mission to create a national adaptation plan to ensure all of us, especially the young and vulnerable, have the physical and social infrastructures to face the future with confidence.”

Climate Proof Canada Coalition Members

Insurance Industry

  • Aon
  • Aviva
  • Desjardins
  • Insurance Brokers’ Association of Canada
  • Insurance Bureau of Canada
  • Intact Financial Corporation
  • Property and Casualty Insurance Compensation Corporation
  • TD Insurance
  • Wawanesa

Municipal Government

  • Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Indigenous Organizations

  • Métis National Council

Private Sector

  • Business Council of Canada
  • Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Forest Products Association of Canada

Environmental NGOs and Research Organizations

  • Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
  • Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction
  • Intact Centre for Climate Adaptation
  • International Institute for Sustainable Development
  • Smart Prosperity Institute
  • The Pembina Institute

For more information about Climate Proof Canada, click here.

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