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Canada unveils new climate adaptation strategy with more than $1-billion commitment

Huge flames burning coniferous trees in the forests in the Rocky Mountains

Canada’s first climate adaptation strategy, unveiled last week, commits the federal government to new targets for preventing extreme heat deaths, reversing species loss and protecting homes in flood- and wildfire-prone areas.

Environment and Climate Change Canada released the strategy — which has been almost two years in the making — in Prince Edward Island, one of the Atlantic provinces that felt the brunt of Hurricane Fiona in September.

The strategy envisions a country prepared to deal with the worst impacts of climate change. The high-level document talks about multiple targets but doesn’t provide any hard numbers. The government says its goal is to set the stage for more detailed implementation plans to be rolled out later.

The government also announced $1.6 billion over five years in new funding to help jump-start the work that needs to be done. The money is meant to improve disaster response, protect Canadians from extreme heat and health effects and top up the disaster mitigation and adaptation fund.