Canada releases National Issues Report on climate change adaptation
Communities across the country are experiencing the impacts of climate change, from extreme events such as wildfires, flooding and heat waves to rising sea levels, melting ice and permafrost, highlighting the need for adaptation action to reduce costs and build resilience.
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, today announced the release of Canada in a Changing Climate: National Issues Report, a national perspective on how climate change is impacting our environment, economy and many aspects of our daily lives — and how we are adapting to these impacts.
The report provides Canadians with a comprehensive synthesis of knowledge of climate change impacts, as well as examples of adaptation efforts underway to address them, and provides a foundation to inform decision-making and measures as we develop Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy.
Key findings show that Canadian communities of all sizes are experiencing the impacts of climate change on their infrastructure, health, culture and economies, threatening Canada’s ecosystems and the vital services they provide, including access to freshwater. As these impacts will persist and intensify over time, urgent action is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase resilience to climate change through adaptation.
The report is part of Canada in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action, a collaborative national assessment process led by Natural Resources Canada, which forms the foundation for the ambitious action we need to take as we develop Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy.
In developing this report, Natural Resources Canada engaged experts from academic, government and non‑governmental organizations as authors to assess and synthesize knowledge from peer‑reviewed literature, government reports and Indigenous knowledge.
Alongside the report, Natural Resources Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Canadian Centre for Climate Services also launched the Map of Adaptation Actions, an interactive, online searchable map of climate change adaptation case studies from Canada, to increase access to useful information and resources supporting adaptation action.
Increasing climate action and the resilience of communities to the impacts of climate change is a top priority for the government. Canada has put in place a strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, with 64 key measures to exceed our climate targets. Natural Resources Canada, together with Environment and Climate Change Canada, Public Safety Canada and Infrastructure Canada, is developing a National Adaptation Strategy that will be used to help protect Canadians across the country from extreme weather and emerging climate risk.
Through Budget 2021, Canada has invested in resiliency and adaptation efforts across government, including: $1.4 billion over 12 years for the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund; $63.8 million over three years to complete flood maps in high-risk areas; $100.6 million over five years to enhance wildfire preparedness in Canada’s National Parks;, and; $28.7 million over five years to increase mapping of areas in Northern Canada at risk of wildfires.
The government continues to work with provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous organizations and communities, and other stakeholders to increase Canada’s resilience to a changing climate.
“Climate change is happening now, and the impacts will only intensify. We need to know how to adapt to protect our communities and our economy. The National Issues Report helps us prepare, respond and build a more resilient Canada."
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr.
Minister of Natural Resources
“The National Issues Report is a stark reminder that Canadians are already feeling the effects of climate change through more extreme weather events like wildfires, floods and droughts. The cost of damages from these events is also rising, which is why the Government of Canada is currently developing a National Adaptation Strategy, guided and informed by the best available science. The Strategy is an important part of our plan to make communities cleaner, safer and more resilient for future generations.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Climate change is having profound impacts on communities of all sizes, with floods, forest fires, drought and thawing permafrost becoming more frequent, and these impacts are felt disproportionately. Working with Canadians, using the best available data and guided by best practices in infrastructure adaptation and planning, we can help ensure resiliency in our communities.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of Infrastructure and Communities