Environment and Climate Change Canada announced June 27 that the Government of Canada has finally unveiled its National Adaptation Strategy.

“Working together to reduce risk from the changing climate will keep Canadian communities safer and healthier. It will also shield the economy from shocks and help avoid some of the rising costs of extreme weather. Simply put, the choices made today will help decide the future of our communities, our livelihoods, our environment and our economy. To that end, today the Government of Canada launched the National Adaptation Strategy,” they state.

The strategy is the culmination of two years of engagement with provinces, territories, Indigenous partners, key experts and stakeholders, they say. “It presents a whole-of-society approach to reducing risk and building climate-resilient communities.” 

Although the strategy was reviewed by provinces, territories and Indigenous organizations, which all provided feedback in November 2022, the industry would appear to be absent from those deliberations. “The feedback we received from provinces, territories and national Indigenous organizations since its initial release in fall 2022 has made it truly reflective of the experience of people living in all parts of the country,” the statement adds.

In the coming months, they say the federal government will work with provinces and territories to advance bilateral action plans as a key step to implementing the strategy.

“The strategy lays out an agreed-upon framework to reduce the risk of climate-related disasters,” they continue. “It also identifies common goals, objectives, and targets to focus the efforts of governments and communities across these key areas and to help ensure future investments are targeted and effective.” 

Following the release of the adaptation strategy, the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s (IBC) president and CEO, Celyeste Power, issued a statement, calling the development an important accomplishment. “This is a significant step toward improving Canada’s climate defense. IBC and its members applaud the Government of Canada on the official release of its first National Adaptation Strategy,” she writes. “We urge the federal government to make the necessary investments to implement this strategy.” 

The IBC adds that insured damage related to severe weather in Canada now routinely exceeds $2-billion annually.