High water levels are washing out Highway 307, this campground at Otter Falls and leading to several hundred residents being evacuated from the area just north east of Winnipeg, Tuesday, May 24, 2022. A coalition on climate adaptation and disaster resilience says air conditioning should become a human right on par with winter heating as climate change brings more risks of extreme heat waves across Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

High water levels are washing out Highway 307, this campground at Otter Falls and leading to several hundred residents being evacuated from the area just north east of Winnipeg, Tuesday, May 24, 2022. A coalition on climate adaptation and disaster resilience says air conditioning should become a human right on par with winter heating as climate change brings more risks of extreme heat waves across Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Canada needs to consider air conditioning a human right: Climate Proof

Coalition on climate adaptation says Canada needs hard targets on disaster resilience

A coalition on climate adaptation and disaster resilience says air conditioning should become a human right on par with winter heating because climate change is increasing the risks of extreme heat waves across Canada.

The recommendation is among a list of hard targets and goals Climate Proof says the federal government needs to include this fall in its national adaptation strategy.

The group of insurance companies, disaster experts, Indigenous groups and municipalities wants that strategy to set specific goals — and not just vague ambitions — for making the country more resilient to extreme weather.

Canada has hard targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a bid to prevent climate change from getting worse, but Climate Proof says the country needs to better adapt to the changes that are already happening.

Climate Proof is calling for a 2028 target to flood proof at least 300,000 of the most flood-prone homes, either with water diversions and protections or relocations.

It is also calling for better education about fire risk, assessing those at most risk from extreme heat and ensuring a heat alert response system is in place in every province and territory.

—Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

RELATED: ‘Trying to tell us something’: Climatologist says 2021 a weather year like no other

Climate changeEnvironmentFederal Politics

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