IBC calls for increased investment in climate adaptation

By The IJ Staff | September 27 2019 01:30PM

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) along with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities released new data this week that shows a need for new investment in local climate adaptation, and the areas where that investment is most needed.

According to the report, entitled The Cost of Climate Adaptation, avoiding the worst impacts of climate change at the municipal level will cost an estimated $5.3-billion per year. The report found that Canada’s eastern and northern regions are most in need of adaptation investment. They also say local buildings, dikes and roads require the most urgent upgrades.

“Those investments are critical to helping local communities adapt to the changing climate, and to reduce risk from extreme weather,” the IBC writes in its statement released Sept. 26.

The report’s analysis found that flood, erosion and permafrost melt are associated with the highest cost to GDP ratios at 1.25, 0.12 and 0.37, respectively. “These climate risks require the greatest investment in adaptation,” they write. “Looking forward, an international assessment concluded that countries should be spending between 0.60 per cent and 1.25 per cent of GDP on adaptation measures to minimize the worst impacts of climate change across sectors of the economy, including but not limited to municipally-owned infrastructure.”

“Across the country our communities are feeling the devastating impacts of climate change as the financial and emotional costs continue to rise,” says IBC’s president and CEO, Don Forgeron. “Canadians expect leadership from all orders of government. That leadership includes increased funding for infrastructure that protects us all from the devastating effects of severe weather.”

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