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Canada has important decisions to make to address the growing disaster risk in a changing climate

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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OTTAWA, Jan. 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Facing the ever-increasing human and economic costs of climate disasters, Canada must make a choice. It can continue to respond to or prepare for disasters as they arise—with associated economic, social, and health damage—and mitigate or avoid the worst damage altogether. Bringing together the areas of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation is critical to reducing vulnerability and exposure to disasters and increasing population security in the face of climate change.

Canada is subject to a wide range of extreme weather events including extreme and cold temperatures, hurricanes, floods, droughts, avalanches, landslides, winter storms, storms, ice storms, and wildfires. In a changing climate, these events are more common and dangerous, and have increased odds of hitting them simultaneously and in the same place, amplifying and exacerbating the dangerous consequences.

“The catastrophic and devastating ramifications of cascading hazards are increasingly becoming evident, as we saw in British Columbia, where record rains triggered landslides in areas where fires destroyed vegetation and forests a few months ago,” says Scott Vaughan, Consortium Chairman Scott Vaughan. experts. But these consequences are not inevitable – they are the result of choices that put people at risk. There are practical measures that can mitigate the most harmful effects of extreme weather events. “

The costs of disaster preparedness and prevention are many times lower than the costs of response and recovery. However, most governments continually underinvest in mitigation, resulting in insufficient disaster response and recovery.

According to the expert panel, policymakers should push for better data on extreme weather events in order to understand and reduce the risks. It is also possible to adapt financing, investment and insurance programs and policies to build resilience. For example, it can discourage homeowners from building or rebuilding in floodplains, reduce insurance premiums for homes with check valves, and improve building codes and engineering practices to create climate-resistant buildings and infrastructure. Recognizing the value of indigenous and local knowledge and working to collaborate with indigenous knowledge holders is critical to truly reducing risk.

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“Building disaster resilience requires a coordinated strategic approach that includes governments, businesses, and the public,” says Eric M. Meslin, PhD, MSRC, MACSS, President and CEO of CAC. This report describes the necessary resources and tools for integrated interventions, which can have the greatest impact and make better use of limited resources. “

Public Safety Canada has asked the ACC to study key opportunities to improve resilience in Canada through better integration of research and practice in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

Building a resilient Canada Presents the choices that homes, communities, businesses, and governments can make to reduce the impact of extreme weather on the people, communities, and economy of Canada in the face of climate change. This report details the resources, financing programs, investment options, insurance offerings, and management structures that can support effective decision-making and make Canada more resilient.

visit To download the report.

contact person:

Heather Ennis
Director of Communications, Council of Canadian Academies
[email protected]

About the Council of Canadian Academies

CCA is a non-profit organization that conducts independent, evidence-based assessments, through expert panels, to inform public policy development in Canada. It was founded by three independent organizations that brought together some of the country’s greatest minds: the Royal Canadian Society, the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Its members and senior executives sit on the Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Committee of the ACC, many of whom are members of expert committees. The founding academies also provide advice and feedback throughout the assessment process, as well as during the selection of expert panel members and the publication of reports. To learn more about CAC or its ratings, go to

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Building a resilient Canada.

Expert Group on Climate Resilience (2022).

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