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____ Monday November 30, 2015 ____

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R&D

Intact donation launches Waterloo centre to make communities more resilient to climate change

Waterloo - Intact Financial Corporation and the University of Waterloo announced the creation of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation (ICCA) today. The centre will focus on research and building awareness for innovative adaptation solutions to climate change risks facing Canadian homeowners, communities, industries and governments.

The ICCA, based in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, will be an incubator for new adaptation measures to climate change. Under the leadership of Professor Blair Feltmate, university researchers, consultants, industry specialists and NGOs 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.

“Addressing the effects of climate change and extreme weather is a pressing challenge for everyone. This unique national partnership applies Waterloo’s research excellence in a way that serves communities across the country,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waterloo. “Together, we share the vision to understand and tackle the effects of climate change in communities across Canada.”

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. 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. We must step up our efforts towards building strong, prosperous, resilient and sustainable communities,” said Charles Brindamour, Chief Executive Officer of Intact Financial Corporation. “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 ICCA represents the next step in a five-year partnership between 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.

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