The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has issued a statement following the federal government’s release of a climate change study, saying that it is a warning that everyone should heed.
The report, titled Canada’s Changing Climate Report, is the first in what will be a series of studies, and concluded that Canada is already experiencing the effects of widespread warming. It also projects that the effects of climate change will only intensify in the future.
According to the report, annual precipitation is expected to increase in all regions across the country. A warmer climate is also projected to intensify some weather extremes. Anticipated increases in extreme precipitation will increase the potential for future urban flooding, the report added.
The federal report outlined that a current 1-in-20-year extreme rainfall event will become a 1-in-10-year event by mid-century – representing a two-fold increase in the frequency of such major disasters.
On top of the rainfall issues, the report warns that extreme hot temperatures will become more frequent and intense. This could lead to more weather events such as heatwaves, drought, and wildfires.
IBC believes the report “clearly points to the need to adapt now to make . . . 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 IBC president and CEO Don Forgeron in a statement.
The CEO believes that while the increasing severity of disaster events is one thing, their mounting frequency hurts everyone involved just as much.
“Last year, insured damage from severe weather across Canada reached $2 billion, the fourth-highest amount of losses on record,” he explained. “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.”