Canadian Underwriter

Intact Financial Corporation announces new climate adaptation centre

November 30, 2015   by Canadian Underwriter

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Intact Financial Corporation (IFC), Canada’s largest provider of property and casualty insurance, and Ontario’s University of Waterloo announced on Monday the creation of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation (ICCA).

Intact provided $4.25 million in funding for the Centre on Climate Adaptation

The centre, based in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo (UoW), will focus on research and building awareness for “innovative adaptation solutions to climate change risks facing Canadian homeowners, communities, industries and governments,” the UoW said in a press release. Under the leadership of Professor Blair Feltmate, university researchers, consultants, industry specialists and non-governmental agencies will:

• monitor applied research developments on adaptation solutions and technologies from around the world;

• conduct their own research; and

• mobilize adaptation technologies and practices that are most promising to reducing climate-related extreme weather risk.

With funding of $4.25 million provided by Intact, the ICCA’s initiatives include implementation of a green infrastructure program aimed at reducing the impact of severe precipitation in Canadian communities, the university said. Another program will identify the extreme weather vulnerabilities of various Canadian industrial sectors and recommend appropriate industry-specific adaptation strategies.

“While political leaders from across the world gather for COP21, we should remind ourselves that climate change is already a reality here in Canada,” said Charles Brindamour, chief executive officer of IFC, in the statement. “We must step up our efforts towards building strong, prosperous, resilient and sustainable communities. Our partnership with Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment will foster innovative solutions that will reduce the physical, financial and social impacts of extreme weather.”

The ICCA will also launch its national Home Adaptation Audit Program (HAAP) to assess the vulnerability of homes to flood damage, and make specific recommendations to help homeowners across the country avoid costly damage from extreme weather.

The centre represents the next step in a five-year partnership between Toronto-based Intact and the University of Waterloo in tackling the impacts of extreme weather. Previously, the organizations partnered on The Climate Change Adaptation Project, which identified the most vulnerable areas of Canadian society to climate change; provided a national roadmap for adaptation; and identified numerous solutions to protect Canadians against the growing threat of severe weather events.