The national climate adaptation strategy is underfunded and confusing
Heat waves are increasing.
A new report concludes that Ottawa's proposed federal climate adaptation strategy is underfunded and does not clearly align its goals with key climate change risks to Canada.
The Climate Institute of Canada has released its independent assessment of the draft $1.6 billion federal strategy unveiled in November. The Climate Institute report makes 11 recommendations to improve this draft national strategy.
The report finds on the one hand that the government is doing well to establish clear, global and national priorities, such as disaster resilience, health and biodiversity, as well as quantitative targets to achieve them. But the Institute believes that no work has been done to assess which risks are most important and urgent in this list.
The report says that the rationale for choosing the targets is unclear and that there should be regular assessments of key national climate risks, so that they can guide the constant updating of the strategy.
The Institute also found that funding for the strategy implementation plan is insufficient to close the national adaptation gap.
The $1.6 billion in new funding announced in the Strategy Implementation Plan is spread over a period of up to 10 years. However, according to the Institute, this envelope represents on average an increase of approximately $200 million per year in federal investments in adaptation to climate change.
Many of the existing programs listed in the Action Plan will deplete their funds over the next few years, the report says. Without additional commitments, total federal funding for adaptation will therefore actually be lower in 2023 than in 2022.