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Ontario Launches First-Ever Climate Change Impact Assessment

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. The study will use the best science and information to better understand where and how climate change is likely to affect communities, critical infrastructure, economies and the natural environment, while helping to strengthen the province’s resilience to the impacts of climate change.

“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.”

As part of its work, the Institute will be reviewing a variety of information such as climate data, land use patterns and socio-economic projections. They 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. The assessment will be conducted over the next two years and it is anticipated that the final results will be released in 2022.

The climate change impact assessment is a key component of the province’s Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to taking the next steps in the provincial impact assessment, last year Ontario also established an advisory panel to provide the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks with advice on the implementation of the province’s climate change actions – especially how Ontarians can prepare for the costs and impacts of climate change.