The Ontario government’s new multi-sector impact assessment strategy is expected to help communities across the province to identify climate change risks and strengthen resilience.

Impacts of climate change are well documented. Under a business-as-usual global emissions scenario, Ontario’s average annual temperatures are projected to rise by more than 3 degrees Celsius by the 2050s. The severe ice storm in April 2018 resulted in $190 million of insured property damage in Ontario. Less than a month later, a wind storm caused $380 million in insured damages.

According to the announcement on November 7, 2019, Ontario is undertaking the first-ever multi-sector provincial climate impact assessment to help the province better understand where and how it is vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The province will provide information to communities to help them undertake a more strategic approach to adaptation planning and infrastructure investments to prevent and mitigate climate change risks.

“Our government is taking action in the global fight to reduce emissions and strengthen our resilience to the impacts of climate change that are already happening in our communities, such as more frequent extreme weather events and flooding,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “This impact assessment will help the province, municipalities, Indigenous communities and other local partners make more informed and timely decisions to keep communities and people healthy and safe.”

Ontario will access the best science and information to determine where and how climate change is likely to affect communities, critical infrastructure, economies and the natural environment. As a first step, the government has posted a request for bids to procure a vendor with expertise in the assessment of impacts, vulnerabilities, risks and opportunities across a wide range of sectors.

Ontario has issued a request for bids to procure a vendor for the climate change impact assessment. The contract will be awarded in early 2020 and the assessment will take place over two years. The release of the final impact assessment is scheduled for 2022.

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