Canada to invest $50 million in G7 climate risk insurance initiative in developing countries

OTTAWA, /CNW/ – On Dec 5, The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announcedCanada’s contribution of Can$50 million to the G7 Initiative on Climate Risk Insurance to help people in developing countries protect themselves against the economic consequences of more intense and increasingly frequent natural catastrophes like severe flooding, droughts or heavy storms.

Insurance helps poor and vulnerable countries build resilience to the impacts of climate change by covering a portion of the risks that arise from natural hazards and extreme weather events. Together with the G7 and our partner countries, Canada is working to provide up to an additional 400 million poor people with insurance against the risks of climate change by 2020.

Canada is a leading contributor in supporting climate risk insurance in developing countries, notably through its participation in the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility. Since its inception in 2007, the Facility has made 13 payouts for hurricanes, earthquakes and excess rainfall totalling approximately US$38 million to eight member governments.

Canada’s contribution to the G7 Initiative on Climate Risk Insurance will help to stimulate greater coverage of effective climate risk insurance markets in countries that are the most vulnerable to natural disaster. In doing so, we will work closely with all stakeholders by funding insurance policies.

Today’s announcement is part of Canada’s pledge of Can$2.65 billion over the next five years to support developing countries’ transition to low carbon economies that are both greener and more climate resilient. This is the most significant Canadian climate finance contribution ever.


“The risks and costs of climate change on developing countries are very significant and Canada is proud to do its part in providing greater access to insurance.”
– The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Developing countries are the most affected by climate change. Canada is committed to supporting the poorest and most vulnerable countries to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change, including by using innovative mechanisms like climate risk insurance.”
– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Quick Facts

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  • Climate risk insurance is a means of obtaining insurance against the risks of extreme weather events such as severe flooding, droughts or heavy storms. It can play an important role in providing security against the loss of assets, livelihoods, and lives, and the G7 Initiative on Climate Risk Insurance aims to increase the number of people covered by this kind of insurance by 400 million by 2020.
  • Canada was the largest contributor to the establishment of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, providing $25 millionfrom 2007-2012.
  • Canada will also contribute $10 million to the World Meteorological Organization to support better early warning systems in the most vulnerable communities under the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative. This funding contributes to the overall goal of assisting developing nations to become more climate-resilient.

Prime Minister announces investment in Global Climate Change Action

SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada

For further information: Caitlin Workman, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-938-9436; Media Relations, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 819-934-8008


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ICBC’s top 8 Halloween safety tips for parents and drivers

ICBC’s top 8 Halloween safety tips for parents and drivers

With Halloween creeping up on us, ICBC is asking everyone to help keep trick-or-treaters safe by preparing children for a safe night out, and for drivers to be extra careful when travelling through neighbourhoods.

Every year, an average of 120 people are injured in 83 crashes on Halloween night in B.C.*

Tips for drivers:

  1. Don’t get spooked. Children may be difficult to see while trick-or-treating. They may be walking in unexpected places like driveways, alleys and parking lots. Others may try to cross in the middle of the street. Make sure there are no small children behind your vehicle by walking around it before getting in. Drive slowly and with extra caution, particularly in residential areas.

  2. Be frightened by your phone: Not only is distracted driving illegal, it’s one of the main causes of crashes with pedestrians. With so many children on the road on Halloween night, remember to leave the phone alone so that you can focus on driving.

  3. Avoid being tricked by securing your car. Halloween is second only to New Year’s Day for vehicle vandalism incidents on holidays or annual celebrations.** Park your car in your garage or an underground parkade. If you park on the street, park in a well-lit area, remove any valuables and lock your car.

Tips for parents and guardians:

  1. Add bright to their fright. No matter what children dress up as this Halloween, they also need to dress to be seen. Add reflective tape to their costume and supply them with a flashlight or glowstick to increase their visibility to drivers.

  2. Use the magic of make-up. Masks can obscure the vision of little ghosts and goblins. The safest way to enhance your child’s costume is to use makeup instead of a mask, which will give them a clear, unobstructed view.

  3. Gather ghouls together. Walk in groups to help drivers and others see you and your children. Have enough adults to safely accompany the children.

  4. Create a candy trail. If your children will be trick-or-treating without you, establish a route and set a time limit. Remind them to stay on the sidewalk, visit houses on one side of the street first, and to only cross the street at marked crosswalks.

  5. Plan for a safe – not scary – ride home. Since Halloween is for the big kids too, if your festivities include alcohol, plan for a safe ride home. Get a designated driver or bring money for a taxi or transit. If you’re hosting a party this weekend, make sure your guests get home safely, too.

Regional statistics*:

  • On average, 90 people are injured in 62 crashes on Halloween night in the Lower Mainland.

  • On average, 13 people are injured in nine crashes on Halloween night on Vancouver Island.

  • On average, 15 people are injured in nine crashes on Halloween night in the Southern Interior.

  • On average, five people are injured in three crashes on Halloween night in the North Centralregion.

* ICBC data based on five year average (2009 to 2013) on Halloween between 3 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. Crashes are casualty crashes, where there was at least one person injured or killed.

** ICBC data over the last five years (2009 to 2013) on Halloween for the entire 24-hour period (00:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.).

Media contact:
Joanna Linsangan

Kansas university finds creative way to test drones; outdoor netted area allows safe research

Kansas university finds creative way to test drones; outdoor netted area allows safe research

By Scott Mayerowitz


This photo provided by Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus shows the school’s new drone. Read more…

NEW YORK _ Researchers at Kansas State University’s Salina campus have found a unique solution to testing drones in a real-world environment while maintaining safety: They built a very big cage.

The Federal Aviation Administration has severe restrictions on where drones can fly outdoors, including a prohibition within five miles of an airport. The college’s campus happens to fall within such a five-mile radius. So, since the school started an unmanned aircraft program in 2008, flights have had to occur offsite.

The 300-foot long, 200-foot wide and 50-foot tall netted structure looks a bit like a fully-enclosed golf driving range. The nets held up by wooden utility poles allow the wind, rain, snow or other weather conditions to easily pass into the test area and don’t block GPS signals. That means that researchers can test the drones in lifelike situations without risking safety.

Unmanned aircraft promise to change numerous businesses and public safety functions. Electric companies want them to inspect miles of remote power lines. Farmers want them to survey land or find bugs or soil that is too dry or lacking nutrients. Insurance companies want them to assess damage after a disaster. And firefighters want them to help battle wildfires.

The quickly-growing industry hasn’t yet developed sophisticated collision-avoidance systems or found ways for the aircraft to navigate without human help.

And day after day there is another report of people flying their drones where they aren’t supposed to, like near the White House. The Federal Aviation Administration now receives about 100 reports a month from pilots who say they’ve seen drones flying near planes and airports, compared with only a few sightings per month last year.

Kansas State University’s new drone testing pavilion shows the creative but also cumbersome steps that those trying to advance the use of unmanned aircraft face.




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