Climate Ready: Ontario’s Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan 2011 - 2014By:
We know that extreme weather is becoming more frequent. Across the province we have seen an increase in prolonged heat waves, torrential rain storms, windstorms, even drought. It is no longer a matter of reacting when the next major weather event occurs. Ontario must be prepared by taking prudent steps to deal with a changing climate and the challenges it presents both now and in the long term.
The Minister of the Environment appointed the Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation in 2007 to help the government prepare and plan for these impacts. Based on the Panel’s advice, we have developed, “Climate Ready: Ontario’s Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan”, which outlines a strategy with a progressive vision, five broad goals and over 30 actions — initiatives to help prepare us for climate change in Ontario over the next four years, to 2014.
Some tangible examples of how we will get there include:
- Minimizing damage by amending the Ontario Building Code and undertaking infrastructure vulnerability assessments to determine vulnerabilities due to the impacts of climate change and sharing the results with the broader public sector.
- Increasing the climate resilience of our ecosystems by developing the Lake Simcoe Adaptation Strategy and creating a model to advance adaptation planning in other watersheds.
- Supporting the development of risk-management tools to manage heat-related illnesses and working with Public Health Units to raise public awareness of health hazards, such as the increased risk of Lyme disease.
- Obtaining a better understanding of the impacts of climate change by continuing to partner with experts to create climate projections throughout the province that will assist in decision-making.
- Working with others through Ontario’s Regional Adaptation Collaborative to improve decision-making on adaptation throughout the province.
The Government of Ontario will report annually to the public on its progress towards its long-term adaptation goals and its success in taking climate change impacts and adaptation into full consideration in the Province’s policies and programs. These are the first steps in ensuring Ontario’s preparedness for the impacts of climate change.
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The Government of Ontario. (2011). Climate ready: Ontario’s adaptation strategy and action plan 2011 - 2014. Toronto, ON. Retrieved from CAKE: http://www.cakex.org/virtual-library/climate-ready-ontario%E2%80%99s-ada...