"The issue of climate change impacts and adaptation is of such fundamental importance to the Province now and into the long-term future that nothing less than a broadly conceived, across the board strategy and action plan for climate resilience will suffice."
Ontario's Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation final report Adapting to Climate Change in Ontario: Towards the Design and Implementation of a Strategy and Action Plan has been released by Ontario's Ministry of the Environment. The Expert Panel on Climate was assembled to provide advice on measures to help the Ontario government understand how to prepare and plan for climate change impacts.
To accomplish this, the Expert Panel met with senior level government managers from 17 provincial ministries and government agencies. During these meetings, the ministries and agencies outlined:
- The ways in which they saw their sector's activities, policies and programs being vulnerable to climate change;
- How they saw their existing management methods, adaptive strategies, policies or programs dealing with, or how they could deal with, climatic variations and change; and
- Their evaluation of their capacity to adapt, and what might improve that adaptive ability in the face of changing climatic conditions and their effects.
Adapting to Climate Change in Ontario includes 59 recommendations to help Ontario understand climate change impacts, reduce risks and take advantage of beneficial opportunities resulting from climate change.
The government will be using this report to develop ways to improve Ontario's ability to address climate change impacts.
Dr. Ian Burton, Dr. Gord McBean and Dr. Barry Smit all received a share of the Nobel Peace prize for their recent work on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.
Dr. Ian Burton and Dr. David Pearson, both accomplished and respected professors of science and leaders in their respective fields, have been appointed as co-chairs of Ontario's new Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation.
Adaptation is a key part of a successful climate change plan. While Ontario is actively cutting its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the GHGs already in the atmosphere will still affect our climate; we need to prepare for how to cope with that change. The Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation will provide the province with adaptation strategies to address the impacts of climate change in our communities and our ecosystems.
Panel members are:
- Grand Council Chief John Beaucage, Grand Council Anishinabek Nation
- Alain Bourque, Ouranos
- Dr. Quentin Chiotti, Pollution Probe
- Dr. Judith Guernsey, Dalhousie University
- David Lapp, Engineers Canada
- Eva Ligeti, Executive Director, Clean Air Partnership
- Dr. Gord McBean, University of Western Ontario
- Jo-Ellen Parry, International Institute for Sustainable Development
- Dr. Barry Smit, University of Guelph