The Ontario Climate Consortium (OCC or Consortium) represents a distributed collective of scientists, researchers and practitioners from across Ontario with a focus on addressing climate change issues pertinent to Ontario and beyond.
The Consortium developed through a consensus building process with universities across Ontario, all levels of government, conservation authorities, NGOs and the private sector. The Consortium builds upon the well-established climate science expertise located within partner universities but also the practical experience of end-users such as large urban municipalities in the greater Toronto area and conservation authorities across the province. Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) provides secretarial services and coordination for the Consortium in partnership with York University. The Secretariat operates from offices housed at TRCA and York University. The Secretariat is located in Toronto, Ontario, but has linkages with university, public, private and NGO partners throughout the province.
Universities currently involved in the initiative include McMaster University, Ryerson University, Trent University, University of Guelph, University of Ottawa, University of Waterloo, University of Windsor and Western University.
Mission: To equip public and private sector decision makers with regionally-specific climate data, intelligence and adaptation services that enable effective policy and investment responses to climate risk in Ontario.
It all starts with identifying areas where research is needed – understanding how climate and extreme weather may affect Ontario’s electricity grid, for example, or determining the most state-of-the-art methods for assessing flood risks – and then coming up with plans to answer those needs.
The OCC’s advantage lies in its ability to access leading-edge science. With a network of top climate researchers from across the province, and relationships with some of Ontario’s foremost universities, OCC is uniquely positioned to leverage the newest and most innovative work currently happening in the fields of climate science and adaptation.
Drawing on the expertise of its collaborators and partners, as well as its own in-house team, OCC develops projects that connect public and private sector end-users with researchers capable of delivering results on time and on budget. OCC’s team also has the know-how to access sources of funding when additional resources are needed to help push a project across the finish line.
Once a research initiative is underway, OCC helps to coordinate all the moving parts, working one-on-one with both end-users and researchers to make sure that these complex projects meet their goals and deliver answers to the relevant research questions. Crucially, OCC team members understand not just the science itself, but the importance of real-world applicability.
Consortium personnel work closely with end-users to interpret results, extract the most relevant information, and help determine how these findings can be applied to the planning process.
Building resilience to the future impacts of climate change means making the right decisions today. OCC is committed to making sure that public and private enterprises alike are equipped to do just that.