Last week, the federal government launched a public consultation to support the ongoing development of Canada’s First Climate Adaptation Strategy. Once completed the Strategy is meant to be a whole-of-society blueprint for coordinated action across the country, so that communities and Canadians are prepared for the impacts of climate change.
Climate-readiness includes measures such as preventing the construction of homes on floodplains, increasing tree coverage in urban forests to reduce the effects of heatwaves, and using data to map and manage the risks of wildfires.
The launch was accompanied by the posting of a 44-page discussion paper that sets out guiding principles as well as goals and objectives for five key areas of focus:
The development of a national strategy was first committed to in December 2020 by the federal government, and the commitment was reaffirmed at COP26 in Glasgow last year. The launch of the consultation also initiates the second phase of the Strategy development. The first phase included the development of the framework for the Strategy and initial discussion with provinces, territories, national Indigenous organizations and representatives. Five Expert Advisory Tables were also established in fall 2021 to provide advice on transformational goals and objectives of the National Adaptation Strategy within the key areas listed above.
The first phase was completed in March 2022. We also saw funding commitments made in the 2022 Federal Budget to support adaptation initiatives, such as funding to support Indigenous Climate Leadership, the development of a Canada Green Homes Strategy – which will help to increase the climate resilience of existing buildings – and funding for freshwater and agriculture initiatives, wildfire response, and to enhance federal coordination of emergency responses.
The Government of Canada has committed to finalizing the National Adaptation Strategy by Fall 2022. Any interested party can make a submission through the online portal at https://letstalkadaptation.ca until July 15, 2022.
The federal government also announced that Canada will be hosting the seventh edition of the global biennial Adaptation Futures conference, the largest dedicated adaptation event in the world, in October 2023 in Montreal.
Our team is tracking the development of the Strategy closely, particularly as it pertains to adaptation measures focused on the built environment and health. Please reach out with any questions pertaining to the consultation, the Strategy or how climate adaptation fits within the broader federal climate agenda.
Robyn Gray, Principal and Environment Practice Lead, firstname.lastname@example.org
Devin McCarthy, Senior Vice President and Federal Practice Lead, email@example.com