Canada leading by example - Baird announces new funding for adaptation on climate change



    NUSA DUA, BALI, INDONESIA, Dec. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's Environment
Minister, John Baird, took action today at the United Nations Climate Change
Conference in Indonesia. Canada will invest $85.9 million over four years to
help Canadians respond to climate change. Minister Baird was joined at the
announcement by Mary Simon, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) and one
of Canada's Eminent Advisors to the Minister.
    "Canada is leading by example and stepping up its fight against climate
change by taking concrete steps to help Canadians adapt to our changing
climate," said Minister Baird. "With our Turning the Corner Action Plan to
Reduce Greenhouse Gases and Air Pollution, Canada started taking real action
on climate change. However, the science is clear. Even the most ambitious
efforts on fighting climate change cannot prevent the warming that is expected
to continue in the short term. That's why we're providing support to address
this challenge head on."

    
    Canada will spend:

    - $15 million for research to improve climate change scenarios;
    - $14 million for a program to assist Northerners in assessing key
      vulnerabilities and opportunities for adaptation;
    - $7 million for climate change and health adaptation in northern / Inuit
      communities;
    - $14.9 million to develop a pilot climate and infectious disease alert
      and response system to protect the health of Canadians from the impacts
      associated with a changing climate; and
    - $35 million for risk management tools for adaptation and to support the
      development and implementation of regional programs.


    "Canadians want action now on climate change - and that's exactly what
we're doing," said the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources.
"My department is using its recognized expertise in adaptation and resource
management to create tools and methodologies that will help address the
impacts of climate change."
    "No region may be more affected by climate change than Canada's Arctic,
however, effective solutions must involve all regions of the country", said
the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern
Development and Federal Interlocutor on Métis and Non-Status Indians.
"Tremendous opportunities await those who design and implement effective ways
to combat climate change. Canada, rich in innovative talent and scientific and
engineering expertise, is well placed to develop these solutions."
    "Our Government is keenly aware of the important link between health and
the environment, and as Health Minister I see today's funding announcements as
very positive news for Canadians concerned about the health effects of the air
they breathe and the water they drink," said Minister of Health Tony Clement.
"Additionally, the new infectious disease alert and response system will
enable us to monitor and act quickly particularly in vulnerable areas such as
Canada's north."

    (Egalement offert en français)

       
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 BACKGROUNDER     
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

                     CANADA'S GOVERNMENT TAKING ACTION ON
                     ADAPTATION AND CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES

    The Government of Canada is taking real action on climate change by
investing $85.9 million over four years to help Canadians increase their
capacity to adapt to a changing climate. Environment Canada, in collaboration
with Natural Resources Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Health
Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, will implement several new
programs as part of the Government of Canada's new adaptation plan. New
initiatives will enhance the scientific knowledge and tools needed to take
further action against climate change and reduce the risks to Canadians.
    The science is clear and Canada, like the rest of the world, recognizes
the need to take immediate action on climate change. Across the country, we
have seen the impacts of a warming climate first hand. For example, the pine
beetle infestation that has ravaged our boreal forests and the melting of
permafrost in the north that has destabilized the foundations of homes and
schools.
    With the Government's Turning the Corner Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse
Gases and Air Pollution, our Government has introduced the toughest
regulations in Canadian history, putting Canada on the path to cut greenhouse
gas emissions by 20% by 2020 and by 60-70% by 2050.
    The investment of $85.9 million will complement the Government's Turning
the Corner Action Plan by putting the following adaptation initiatives in
place:

    - $15 million for Improved Climate Change Scenarios. Environment
      Canada's expertise in predicting environmental changes, weather
      patterns and future climate extremes will be enhanced through improved
      climate change scenarios. The information gathered through climate
      change scenarios will be used to protect the health and property of
      Canadians, such as, improving the design of bridges and
      telecommunications structures to withstand extreme rainfall, ice and
      snow loads, and sea level changes. The scenarios and risk information
      will also assist communities in their emergency preparedness planning.

    - $35 million to develop Innovative Risk Management Tools and to develop
      Regional Adaptation Work Programs. Natural Resources Canada will
      develop new information and tools to help decision-makers effectively
      use new knowledge to develop adaptation strategies. The adaptation
      tools (using guidelines, analytical models, etc.) will guide non-
      climate change experts through a series of steps to examine the
      implications of climate impacts on their policies, plans, and
      operations, in order to determine appropriate response options.
      Similarly, Regional Adaptation Work Programs will facilitate regional
      adaptation and collaboration between key players in government,
      economic sectors, and local communities and organizations.

    - $14 million for Northern and Aboriginal Communities to assess Key
      Vulnerabilities and Opportunities. Aboriginal and northern communities
      are uniquely affected by an already changing climate with greater
      changes expected in the future. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
      will build on current work to advance risk assessment, planning and
      community-based adaptation projects. A project undertaken could, for
      instance, address the need for community access to regionally-based
      climate change scenarios.

    - $7 million to address Health Adaptation in Northern / Inuit
      communities.  Health Canada will work with Aboriginal communities,
      other key stakeholders and government departments to establish a
      community-based research program to assess key vulnerabilities and
      health impacts related to climate change in Northern / Inuit
      populations. The results will be used to develop innovative human
      health risk management plans and tools, including culturally sensitive
      educational and awareness materials, to improve decision-making
      regarding health adaptation in the North.

    - $14.9 million to develop Climate and Infectious Disease Alert and
      Response Systems to Protect the Health of Canadians. Health Canada and
      the Public Health Agency of Canada will work with partners on
      developing climate and infectious disease alert and response systems to
      protect the health of Canadians from impacts associated with a changing
      climate. The results will be used to produce tools, best practices,
      guides and reports for use and implementation by provinces and
      municipalities.
    




For further information:

For further information: Eric Richer, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of the Environment, (819) 997-1441, In Indonesia: 085857032508;
Environment Canada, Media Relations, (819) 934-8008, 1-888-908-8008, In
Indonesia: Gregory Jack, 085857032502


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890