Funding climate change adaptation


Ottawa – Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, released Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy.

In addition, the Government of Canada Adaptation Action Plan was re-released with updates on new investments. The Action Plan represents the federal contribution to implementing the National Adaptation Strategy, and will complement the efforts of provinces, territories, and Indigenous partners.

The Government of Canada has invested $6.5 billion in climate change adaptation since 2015. This includes $2 billion committed since fall 2022. Additional investments are expected to be made by all orders of government to address climate change impacts and protect the health and safety of Canada’s communities.

Investing for the future

Adaptation actions are cost-effective investments for today, and for the future. Every $1 invested in adaptation measures now will save up to $15 in costs across the economy. If left unchecked, the impact of climate damage will increasingly undercut Canada’s economic growth. Taking measures to adapt to climate change will generate many benefits, including innovative solutions, technologies, and jobs that can help minimize damage to communities, retain ecosystem services, reduce economic shocks to supply chains, sustain livelihoods, and most importantly, save lives.

Core adaptation investments

Core adaptation investments are programs and initiatives that are designed to directly enhance adaptation and climate resilience in Canada. These programs may be broadly focused (for example, supporting general adaptation planning in communities), or address targeted climate change impacts and risks such as flooding, wildfire, or extreme heat. Core investments are proactive in nature—they aim to build resilience and ensure that the necessary measures are in place before climate-related events occur. Since 2015, the federal government has invested more than $6.5 billion in core adaptation measures.

Disaster response and recovery

In addition to adaptation investments, the Government of Canada has made critical investments to provide financial assistance to provincial and territorial governments to respond to, and recover from, natural disasters. The Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements program is the Government of Canada’s primary mechanism to distribute this funding. As of March 2023, the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements program has contributed more than $7.9 billion to provinces and territories since its inception in 1970, with 73 percent of this amount paid out in the last 10 years. With climate-related disasters becoming more frequent and intense, the growing cost of disaster response and recovery demonstrates the need for ambitious and proactive investments in adaptation.

Additional programs

Adaptation is also advanced through several other federal priority areas, including climate change mitigation efforts, ecosystem and biodiversity conservation, and infrastructure funding. Many federal programs include adaptation as an important secondary outcome. For example, Infrastructure Canada’s Natural Infrastructure Fund committed $200 million to support projects that use natural or hybrid approaches to protect the natural environment, support healthy and resilient communities, and contribute to economic growth and jobs.

A foundation of adaptation action

The Government of Canada has developed a strong foundation of adaptation programming to develop climate resilience in communities. These initiatives are addressing the climate risks that matter most to Canadians by building climate-resilient infrastructure, providing Canadians with the data and information to make climate-informed decisions, and supporting locally led adaptation measures in municipalities and Indigenous communities.

For example, as of May 2023, the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund has invested $2.3 billion in 83 built and natural infrastructure projects across the country to help communities better prepare for, and withstand, the potential impacts of natural disasters.

In addition, the Canadian Centre for Climate Services, which was launched in 2018, plays a key role in providing credible, useful, and timely climate data, information, and tools for Canadians. Recognizing that regional approaches are required to address the unique needs of users across the country, the Canadian Centre for Climate Services has coordinated a national system of climate services by developing a network of regional climate expert organizations. The Canadian Centre for Climate Services includes a collaborative climate information portal,, along with a national Map of Adaptation Actions.