Canadian Underwriter

IBC urges communities to build green infrastructure to limit flood risk


September 18, 2018   by Staff


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floods-01The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is calling on communities to consider building green infrastructure in an effort to limit flood risk.

IBC has released a report in collaboration with the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) that outlines how natural infrastructure can be used to combat Canada’s rising flood costs.

“This report emphasizes that coastal and inland flood risk can be reduced by conserving and restoring natural infrastructure, such as wetlands and coastal marshes, and that the return on investment of natural infrastructure can at times exceed that of built infrastructure, such as dams and dikes,” Craig Stewart, IBC’s vice-president of federal affairs, said in a press release. “Nature can be our best friend in lowering the risk of exposed communities.”

Stewart noted that insured losses from extreme weather have more than doubled every five to 10 years since the 1980s.

“Natural infrastructure, such as an inland or coastal wetland, is not mere decoration—it limits flood risk and the downstream discharge of pollutants, while at the same time supporting biodiversity,” said Blair Feltmate, head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation. “In response, every attempt should be made to retain and restore natural infrastructure today, if we are to avoid unconscionable economic, social and environmental losses tomorrow.”

Read Combatting Canada’s Rising Flood Costs here.

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This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.