Government of Canada releases Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change in Canada: an update on the National Adaptation Strategy

News release

August 11, 2021 – Ottawa (Ontario)

Canadians are already witnessing and experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change. Canada’s climate is warming two times faster than the global average, and three times faster in the North. Across the country, climate change is affecting our communities, economy and environment, and poses serious risks to our health and well-being. That is why in December 2020, as part of its strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, the Government of Canada committed to developing Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy.

Today, as work continues towards the development of the strategy, the Government of Canada released a report entitled Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change in Canada: an update on the National Adaptation Strategy. The report builds on a first round of conversations with provinces and territories, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, Indigenous representatives, and youth organizations to identify the strategy’s objectives and principles.

Also, the Government of Canada will be launching adaptation advisory tables led by environmental organizations, adaptation experts, Indigenous Peoples, and other key partners, including youth, from across the country. Those partners will have the mandate to create a framework for concrete adaptation action, with aspirational goals and advice on how to face climate change.

The extreme heatwave and wildfires in Western Canada this summer underscore the urgency of adapting to climate change. In the North, thawing permafrost is challenging traditional ways of life and infrastructure. In other parts of Canada, farmers continue to lose crops to both drought and flooding, and coastal communities are grappling with stronger storm surges and coastal erosion.

As warming continues, these kinds of events will happen more often. They demonstrate clearly the need for an accelerated pace of adaptation action alongside continued mitigation efforts. Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy will identify how best to protect Canadians – including through measures that focus investments to increase the resilience of communities, and protect public health and safety, as well as natural ecosystems and biodiversity.

Adaptation is needed and will continue while the strategy is being developed. The federal government has taken significant action to date.

In 2021, Canada announced $3.79 billion in new investments related to climate change adaptation and resilience. This included investments in wildfire resilience, flood maps, health adaptation, and standards to support infrastructure resilience, as well as $1.9 billion announced in Budget 2021 to support provincial and territorial disaster response and recovery efforts. Canada also submitted its first Adaptation Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on July 12, 2021, in conjunction with its enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution.

Quotes

“The climate crisis demands bold action for climate resilience and a stronger economy. It is clear that alongside efforts to reduce emissions and limit the effects of climate change, Canada must continue to advance ambitious solutions to anticipate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. I am pleased to provide this update on Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy. Further development of this strategy will continue to be guided by the best available science and be informed by diverse views and perspectives, including from those most impacted. This strategy will give us a world-leading and unified path forward.”
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • Canadians are already witnessing and experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change. In Canada’s strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, the Government of Canada committed to developing a National Adaptation Strategy.

  • In this report, the Government of Canada provides an update on progress towards the release of Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy, including engagement with stakeholders and partners that began in early 2021.

  • In the coming months, the Government of Canada will continue to engage with stakeholders and partners, as well as the broader public, with a view to releasing the finalized National Adaptation Strategy in fall 2022.

  • The Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund was allocated an additional $1.4 billion from Budget 2021 to the initial $2 billion to support projects such as wildfire mitigation activities, rehabilitation of storm water systems, and restoration of wetlands and shorelines.

  • Most recently, $168.5 million was announced through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund for the Springbank off-stream reservoir project near Calgary, which will help protect thousands of Albertans, as well as their homes, schools and local businesses, from floods on the Elbow River.

  • In 2021, the Government of Canada announced $3.79 billion in new investments related to climate change adaptation and resilience. This includes $1.9 billion in Budget 2021 to support provincial and territorial disaster response and recovery efforts as well as investments in wildfire resilience, flood maps, health adaptation, and standards to support infrastructure resilience.

Associated links

Contacts

Joanna Sivasankaran
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
819-790-1907
Joanna.Sivasankaran@ec.gc.ca

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
media@ec.gc.ca

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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