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New data shows 85% of Canadians want action on climate adaptation

Nov 15, 2022 | NATIONAL
New data shows 85% of Canadians want action on climate adaptation News Article Placeholder Image

Canadians support climate adaptation and want to see action from governments to protect them from the natural disasters they are already experiencing, according to a poll commissioned by Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

"A majority of Canadians desire government action and accountability on climate adaptation. Setting targets will ensure our communities are better prepared for more severe natural disasters, such as the devastating floods in British Columbia exactly a year ago," said Craig Stewart, Vice-President, Climate Change and Federal Issues, IBC. "Canada's first National Adaptation Strategy must set near-term targets to reduce the risk of flooding and other climate-related disasters, and specify the funded actions needed to attain those targets."

Pollara Strategic Insights conducted an online poll from August 19 to September 6, 2022, among 5,200 adult (18+) homeowners and renters living in Canada who were at least partially responsible for their home insurance policy. The dataset has been weighted by age, gender and region to be representative of the proportions of this population. A probability sample of N=5,200 carries a margin of error of ±1.4% 19 times out of 20.

The results of the questions pertaining to Climate Adaptation can be found here.

The top Climate Adaptation insights from the poll were:

  1. Canadians approve of government response to natural disasters but believe more must be done to adapt to climate change:
    • 54% of Canadians approve of the job done by governments in managing and responding to natural disasters
    • Just 40% of Canadians believe governments are doing enough to adapt to climate change
  2. Canadians support governments acting [now] to address increasing natural disasters as a result of climate change:
    • 85% believe that protecting Canadians from natural disasters they are already experiencing should be a priority for governments
  3. Setting targets for adaptation will ensure communities are better prepared for climate change:
    • 76% of Canadians believe that setting immediate targets for adapting to climate change to be achieved within the next five years should be a priority for governments, including 52% who said it should be a major or top priority
  4. Canadians support additional government investments in community infrastructure to protect against flooding:
    • 83% of Canadians support governments investing in improving community infrastructure against the risk of floods
    • 68% support governments providing financial assistance to homeowners for relocation if they live in a high-risk flood zone.

IBC is committed to working closely with the private sector, first responders and governments to improve Canada's preparedness for and resilience to severe weather events.

As a founding member of Climate Proof Canada and co-chair of the National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) Disaster Resilience and Security Advisory Table, IBC congratulates the federal government on its work to develop a NAS that prepares Canada's physical and social infrastructure for increasing perils such as floods, wildfires and heat, and recognizes the outsized effects of these perils on Indigenous peoples and other vulnerable communities.

Climate Proof Canada continues to advocate for a National Adaptation Strategy that:

Sets clear national targets for reducing risk based on expert advice;

Expands federal programs with clear accountability for contributing to those targets (e.g., the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund should be set at a total of $10 billion over the next five years, with $500 million dedicated to natural infrastructure solutions);

Initiates intergovernmental dialogue with provincial, territorial and Indigenous representatives, municipalities and the private sector to ensure targets are met through a whole-of-society effort.

Climate Proof Canada was pleased to amplify an announcement from Environment and Climate Change Canada on Saturday, November 12, at Adaptation and Agriculture Day at COP27 at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, which outlined Canada's action on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction both at home and abroad, in particular, its support for setting targets:

"At home, the Government of Canada is working with provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, and other key partners and experts to develop Canada's first National Adaptation Strategy. The Strategy is a whole-of-society blueprint for adaptation action. It is designed to establish common objectives and measure progress by setting clear targets for collective action to limit the effects of climate change throughout Canada."

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 the vast majority 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.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC at Follow us on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.