Toronto, ON (Apr. 2, 2019) – The Government of Canada has released its Canada’s Changing Climate report. This first report, part of the government’s Canada in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action, provides a firm scientific foundation for future analyses and is a valuable tool for governments who are looking for ways to adapt and make their communities more resilient.
The report concludes that Canada is seeing the effects of widespread warming and projects that they will intensify in the future. Annual precipitation is projected to increase in all regions of Canada and a warmer climate is expected to intensify some weather extremes. Projected increases in extreme precipitation are expected to increase the potential for future urban flooding.
The report says Canadians can expect extreme hot temperatures to become more frequent and more intense. This will increase the severity of heatwaves and contribute to increased drought and wildfire risks. While inland flooding results from multiple factors, more intense rainfalls will increase urban flood risks. Under the high emission scenario explored in this report, a current 1-in-20-year extreme rainfall event will become a 1-in-10-year event by mid-century (a two-fold increase in frequency).
The report clearly points to the need to adapt now to make our communities more resilient.
“The property and casualty insurance industry continues to see the devastating effects of this new era of an unpredictable, changing climate,” said Don Forgeron, President and CEO, IBC.
“Last year, insured damage from severe weather across Canada reached $2 billion, the fourth-highest amount of losses on record,” continued Forgeron. “However, unlike the 1998 Quebec ice storm, the 2013 Calgary floods or the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire, no single event caused the high amount paid out for losses in 2018. Instead, Canadians and their insurers experienced significant losses from a host of smaller severe weather events from coast to coast.”
IBC has encouraged all levels of government to increase their investments in mitigating the impact of extreme weather and building resiliency to its damaging effects. In addition to advocating for upgraded infrastructure to protect communities from floods, IBC is also advocating for improved building codes, better land-use planning, and incentives to shift the development of homes and businesses away from areas that are at highest risk of flooding.
The storm that hit Ontario on February 24 and 25, 2019, with damaging wind gusts, freezing rain and blizzard conditions caused over $48 million in insured damage. This is just the first severe weather storm to hit Ontario in 2019. In 2018, insured losses from severe weather reached $1.3 billion in that province.
It is not only insurers that foot the bill for severe weather damage. For every dollar that insurers pay out for home and business insurance claims, IBC estimates that governments pays out $3 to recover the public infrastructure that is damaged by severe weather.
1. See the release from Environment and Climate Change Canada below.
2. Unlike temperature, which is projected to increase everywhere in every season, precipitation has patterns of increase and decrease.
About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.
P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 126,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $54.7 billion.
For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca.
SOURCE: via Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)
Ottawa, ON (Apr. 2, 2019) – Canadians are experiencing the costs of climate-related extremes first hand, from devastating wildfires and flooding to heatwaves and droughts. As the planet warms, extreme weather events will become increasingly common. The knowledge provided by our scientists has helped us understand that climate change is real and driven by human activity. The Government of Canada will continue to work with Canadian scientists, by listening to their expertise and evidence-based advice to help us continue to take ambitious action to reduce emissions and fight climate change.
Just released, Canada’s Changing Climate Report provides the first in-depth, stand-alone assessment of how and why Canada’s climate has changed, and what changes are projected for the future. Undertaken by some of Canada’s finest scientists, this report provides an independent analysis and evaluation of the scientific confidence based on the scientists’ expert judgement. The assessment was led by Environment and Climate Change Canada, with contributions from Fisheries and Ocean Canada, Natural Resources Canada and university experts.
The assessment confirms that Canada’s climate has warmed in response to global emissions of carbon dioxide from human activity. The effects of widespread warming are already evident in many parts of Canada and are projected to intensify in the near future. A warmer climate will affect the frequency and intensity of forest fires, the extent and duration of snow and ice cover, precipitation, permafrost temperatures, and other extremes of weather and climate, as well as freshwater availability, rising of sea level, and other properties of the oceans surrounding Canada.
This is the first report completed as part of the National Assessment Canada in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action, led by Natural Resources Canada. It provides the climate science foundation for the forthcoming reports by addressing the impacts of climate change on our communities, environment, and economy, as well as how we are adapting to reduce risk.
“Climate change is real, and Canadians across the country are feeling its impacts,” said Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “The science is clear, we need to take action now. Practical and affordable solutions to fight climate change will help Canadians face the serious risks to our health, security and economy, and will also create the jobs of tomorrow and secure a better future for our kids and grandkids.”
“This report is a wakeup call for all Canadians,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. “It is clear that climate change is real, human made, and requires urgent action. Our plan to fight climate change lays out measures across the country to take action on this urgent issue. Our plan will help build a cleaner and greener future that will provide new jobs for our kids and grandkids.”
“Climate has an impact on the crops we grow and the resilience of our infrastructure,” said Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport. “That is why the work of Canada’s climate researchers is so important. They study climate impact, adaptation and mitigation so we can make evidence-based decisions to help people and communities across Canada thrive.”
“Climate change is the defining challenge of our time,” said Dr. Mona Nemer, Chief Science Advisor. “Canada’s climate science, whether on ecosystem health or atmospheric models, is internationally recognized and provides solid knowledge on which to take action.”