Building a climate-resilient Canada

Warming global temperatures are intensifying the impact of natural disasters on buildings and infrastructure. With Canada’s climate changing faster than the global average, there is a pressing need to ensure buildings and infrastructure can withstand extreme weather events.

The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) plays a key role in helping Canadians adapt to climate change and natural disasters such as floods, coastal erosions and wildfires. A new report by SCC highlights that investments in standards are necessary and urgent to ensure Canada’s infrastructure is ready for the future. It presents findings from SCC’s Standards in Action: Building a Climate Resilient Future Campaign in 2020, which involved consultations with hundreds of stakeholders across the country, and collaboration with standards development organizations and other key partners.

Six key themes emerged from the campaign:

  1. Standards are needed to respond to all hazards, but the urgency of these hazards varies by region and sector in Canada
  2. Responses to climate change in Canada are emerging and maturing, but additional standards and supporting tools are needed
  3. Mobilizing standards will require more efforts on awareness, guidance, and capacity building
  4. Standardization could boost the cost-effectiveness of responding to more than 35 additional adaptation, mitigation, and sustainability-related challenges
  5. More than 100 standards urgently need updating for climate change
  6. Canada’s standardization system has room to be faster, more ambitious, and more inclusive of diverse perspectives

The findings also highlight the risks of not taking further action to adapt to climate change. The report lays the foundation for extended and more ambitious action to prepare Canada’s infrastructure and communities for a changing climate, and will support SCC’s efforts to mobilize the national standardization system to meet these challenges.