A new report by the Canadian Climate Institute says private capital is needed to invest in climate adaptation infrastructure as extreme weather events like fires and floods become more acute by the year. 

The report co-authored by insurance firm The Co-operators Group Ltd. and Climate Resilience Consulting says public funding isn't enough to meet the investment needs for adapting Canadian infrastructure to climate change. 

The report says the challenge is particularly acute for municipalities, which have limited resources and capacity to address the effects of climate change on Canada's public infrastructure despite owning and operating almost two-thirds of it. 

The report authors say costly extreme weather events like Hurricane Fiona, flooding in British Columbia and the Fort McMurray fires highlight the urgent need to adapt.  

They say climate adaptation is chronically underfunded in Canada and around the world, and yet without proactive adaptation, the effects of climate change could cost the Canadian economy $78 billion a year by the middle of the century. 

Proactive adaptation could cut these costs in half, the report says, but there are challenges to unlocking private finance. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2023.