The Ontario government has selected a consulting team led by the Climate Risk Institute to conduct the province’s first-ever multi-sector climate change impact assessment.

“Our government is committed to tackling climate change by reducing greenhouse emissions and helping communities and families prepare for the effects of our changing climate,” said Jeff Yurek, minister of the environment, conservation, and parks.

“I look forward to receiving the results of Ontario’s first-ever climate change impact assessment, which will help the province, municipalities, Indigenous communities, and local partners make more informed decisions on planning and infrastructure investments to keep communities healthy and safe,” said Yurek.

The aim of the assessment will be to strengthen the province’s resilience to the impacts of climate change. To do this, the best science and information will be used to better understand where and how climate change is likely to affect communities, critical infrastructure, economies, and the natural environment.

“The Climate Risk institute is pleased to be leading this climate change impact assessment of vulnerabilities to Ontario’s natural environment, economies, and communities,” said Al Douglas, president of the Climate Risk Institute. “The assessment will support decisions that are informed by science and local knowledge and will allow for a more strategic approach to climate change adaptation planning in Ontario.”

As part of its work, the Climate Risk Institute will be reviewing a variety of information such as climate data, land use patterns, and socio-economic projections. It will also develop an engagement plan to ensure the final assessment reflects the views and perspectives of Indigenous communities, municipalities, key economic sectors, and the public.

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“Rigorous assessment of risk is an essential foundation for sustained, effective improvement in resilience to flooding, severe weather, and other extreme climate events,” said Paul Kovacs, chair of the Advisory Panel on Climate Change. “The Government of Ontario’s provincial climate change impact assessment is an important and welcome step forward toward the building of climate resilience across the province.”

The assessment will be conducted over the next two years. It is anticipated that the final results will be released in 2022.

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