Climate Change Risk Management Strategy for Halifax Regional Municipality

Halifax Regional Municipality
Created: 11/30/2007 - Updated: 3/02/2018

Abstract

Background:

According to the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other leading climate change researchers, climate change is impacting and will continue to affect the health and well being of people and communities throughout the world even if global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to the Kyoto Protocol target levels. If left unmitigated, these climate changes are likely to exceed the capacity of natural, managed and human systems to adapt.

Globally, estimates of the annual cost of climate change impacts range from $300 billion to over $2,000 billion. While there is no consensus that either Hurricane Juan that affected Nova Scotia, or Hurricane Katrina that devastated New Orleans and other Gulf Coast communities were caused by climate change, the devastating physical, health, and social impacts may foretell the type of impacts on vulnerable coastal communities that are likely to become more frequent in the future as a consequence of global climate change. Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) has been witness to the physical and social impacts of extreme weather, notably Hurricane Juan in September 2003, and the one-metre snowfall and high winds experienced during the ‘Great Maritime Blizzard’ of February 2004. These extreme events significantly impacted the region, and severely impacted the region’s electrical and communications infrastructure as well as impeding public access to health and emergency service facilities throughout the Province of Nova Scotia but most particularly here in the HRM.

In response to HRM’s experience with extreme events and the projections that indicate these events are expected to be become more frequent, the Sustainable Environment Management Office (SEMO) in collaboration with members of ClimAdapt (a network of private sectorcompanies in Nova Scotia that provide climate change adaptation expertise) partnered with, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Natural Resources Canada, Environment Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia to develop an approach that could be implemented to reduce HRM’s contribution to greenhouse gases and manage the impacts of climate change. The result of thisinitiative was Climate SMART (Sustainable Mitigation and Adaptation Risk Toolkit) with the overall objective of mainstreaming climate change into municipal decision making.

Published On

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Keywords

Sector Addressed: 
Disaster Risk Management
Fisheries
Forestry
Land Use Planning
Public Health
Research
Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Air temperature
Economics
Fishery harvest
Flooding
Infrastructure damage
Invasive / non-native species, pests
Precipitation
Public health risks
Storms or extreme weather events
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Reduce local climate or related change
Capacity Building
Increase / Improve public awareness, education, and outreach efforts
Conduct / Gather additional research, data, and products
Conduct vulnerability assessments and studies
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Infrastructure retrofitting and improvements
Stormwater systems: retrofitting and improvements
Sewage systems: retrofitting and improvements
Governance and Policy
Create new or enhance existing policies or regulations