Adaptation to climate change

In Canada and abroad, the effects of climate change are becoming evident. Impacts such as coastal erosion; thawing permafrost; increases in heat waves; droughts and flooding; ecosystem changes; and risks to critical infrastructure; and food and water security are already being felt in Canada and globally.  So, we need to adapt – make adjustments in our activities and decisions in order to reduce risks, moderate harm or take advantage of new opportunities.

For example, we know that Canada will experience extreme weather events more frequently, like the 2017 flooding in the Ottawa-Gatineau area, where many public servants live and work. We need to ensure that Canadians still have access to government services, programs and initiatives during those kinds of events.

Under the Greening Government Strategy federal government departments have committed to:

  • understand and address the wide range of climate change impacts that could potentially affect federal assets, services and operations across the country
  • minimize service disruptions, incorporate climate change impacts in business continuity planning, and explore how climate change impacts and adaptation can be integrated into program design and delivery considerations
  • incorporate climate-resilient design and delivery into all major real property projects
  • adopt climate-resilient building codes being developed by National Research Council Canada
  • incorporate adaptation in departmental risk planning or equivalent processes.

To facilitate this work, the Centre for Greening Government has commissioned the Canadian Council of Academies to identify the top climate change risks facing both Canada and the federal government, and their relative significance, and which have the most potential to be minimized by adaptation measures.

For more information about climate change impacts and adaptation, visit Natural Resources Canada.

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