Adapting to Climate Change in Ontario: Towards the Design and Implementation of a Strategy and Action Plan

David Pearson and Ian Burton
Created: 10/31/2009 - Updated: 11/06/2018

Abstract

Section 1 elaborates upon the nature of climate change and the adaptation imperative in detail. Listed are examples of the impacts to be expected in various sectors of the economy, along with the most recent projections of climate developed from climate models by the Canadian Climate Change Scenarios Network. It is emphasized that both adaptation and mitigation are required to respond to climate change and that adaptation by itself will not suffice. Current limits and constraints on adaptation are briefly described. It is concluded that adaptation is so pervasive in scope, and affects the Ontario economy, society and environment in such diverse ways that a broad integrated approach is required. Examples of adaptation actions by other provinces and territories are contained within this section to describe how other governments are meeting the challenge.

Section 2 describes the strategic goals and specific recommendations from the Panel to inform both the development of a strategy and an action plan. On the basis of evidence from dialogue with ministries, authors have identified the main components of a potential strategy, as well as important ingredients for an action plan which can be quickly initiated. Well planned action is of the essence in adapting to climate change. In the process of preparing longer-term action plans, the government should take the opportunity to engage the private sector and citizens in dialogue about the challenges. The government must assume responsibility for leading the strategy and actions and it will be broadly inclusive of all the economic sectors and social communities and regions of the province – and it seems that this leadership will be forthcoming.

The overall objective for the Government of Ontario is to build a climate-resilient province which will adapt well to the impacts of climate change and its challenges.

Published On

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Keywords

Scale: 
Regional / Subnational
State / Provincial
Tribal / First Nation
Sector Addressed: 
Agriculture
Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Biodiversity
Culture / communities
Economics
Fishery harvest
Flooding
Infrastructure damage
Public health risks
Sea level rise
Storms or extreme weather events
Tourism
Water quality
Water supply
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Capacity Building
Invest in / Enhance emergency services planning and training
Increase / Improve public awareness, education, and outreach efforts
Conduct vulnerability assessments and studies
Create stakeholder engagement processes to develop and implement adaptation strategies
Conduct scenario planning exercise
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Develop disaster preparedness plans and policies
Governance and Policy
Create new or enhance existing policies or regulations
Develop / implement adaptation plans
Develop / implement adaptive management strategies
Taxonomic Focus: 
Mammals
Birds
Plants
Fishes
Climate Type: 
Subpolar
Sociopolitical Setting: 
Urban
Rural
Suburban