New Federal Building Standards to Adapt to Climate Change
Ottawa releases its first-ever National Adaptation Strategy, a guide to guide future action in the face of to the impacts of climate change.
This satellite image provided by the United States Oceanic and Atmospheric Observation Agency shows Storm Fiona in the Atlantic Ocean moving northward (on file).
Two months after Storm Fiona devastated the Atlantic provinces, the federal government is launching its first-ever climate change adaptation strategy. Ottawa is investing $1.6 billion to “prepare Canada for a future resilient to climate change,” announced Bill Blair, Minister of Emergency Preparedness.
Adaptation is about find new ways to make decisions, build communities and businesses, protect each other and the places we value in anticipation of the impacts of these climate changes, says the 60-page document, released Thursday.
Presented in Prince Edward Island, a region particularly affected by Fiona, this program will notably help municipalities and townships to finance public infrastructures that will resist floods, for example, or even support the protection of the nature and biodiversity.
Like other Atlantic provinces, this island region is trying to recover from Fiona, the storm that hit the Atlantic coast in late September and caused $660 million in damage, according to the Office of the Insurance of Canada (BAC).
This makes it the costliest storm to hit the Atlantic region.
The federal government is committed to financially assisting provinces affected by Hurricane Fiona to rebuild.
Severe weather events are expected to be more frequent and the government believes that by 2030, natural disasters will cause losses amounting to $15.4 billion each year.
“The Canadian climate is changing irreversibly.
— Excerpt from Canada's National Adaptation Strategy
Recent years have seen, not just in Canada, but around the world, an increase in the frequency and severity of weather events, Bill Blair said citing wildfires and floods in recent months.
Floods, specifically, are among the costliest extreme events, accounting for losses of $2.9 billion per year, and this alone for damage to residences.
To limit the damage and to reduce the bill, new construction standards will be implemented. A guide to make new buildings more resistant to floods and forest fires will be developed. This alone will save $4.7 billion a year, according to the government.
Ottawa also hopes that half of Canadians will adopt measures to adapt their homes to the risks associated with climate change by 2025.
Beach replenishment, considered a landmark climate adaptability project, was unable to prevent rising waters as the historic site of La Grave is also bordered by the sea on the other side.
Finally, within three years, the government aims to provide, in 65% of cases, additional funding to provinces that request assistance as a result of a natural disaster, all to implement preparedness, response and recovery measures to deal with future disasters.
The novelty is that Canada is positioning itself as a coordinator with the various levels of government, explains Julien Bourque, research associate at the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, in an interview on the program Noon info.
Having himself participated in the development of this new strategy, Mr. Bourque recognizes that federal funding could have been more generous, but it is above all a first step, he defends.
We cannot rely on federal dollars alone to meet the climate emergency in terms of adaptation, says the expert in environmental management. Of course, the other levels will also have to invest, as well as the private sector […].
In all, the federal government is proposing 84 measures to improve the resilience of the Canada in relation to climate change.
Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault has held consultations across the country to establish his climate change resilience strategy, but the document unveiled Thursday is not quite complete. /p> Start of widget. Skip widget?
Canada's National Adaptation Strategy by Radio-Canada on Scribd
End of widget. Back to top of widget?
Thus, the provinces, municipalities and indigenous organizations have not yet given their final agreement. Discussions will continue over the next three months to ensure that the federal strategy meets the needs of all.
In its current form, the document emphasizes the x27;Involvement of Aboriginal people in several respects. In particular, it advocates for communities to help build their capacity to establish more Indigenous protected and conserved areas.
Indigenous peoples and Indigenous governing bodies are partners keys to adaptation action, reads the strategy. […] They are leaders, with deep knowledge of natural systems and millennia of experience as stewards of the environment.
The Strategy, in conclusion, advocates regular progress reports with constant updates, follow-ups and evaluations on Canada's engagement against the climate crisis.
With the information from Valérie Gamache