Climate Change Adaptation Initiative

Endorsed by Council in May 2011, town staff is working with ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability, to create and implement a town-wide Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.

ICLEI’s five milestones for climate change adaptation methodology provides a structured approach to adaptation planning which moves participating local governments through a series of progressive steps. Each milestone builds on the findings of the previous milestone, however, the methodology as a whole provides opportunities to re-evaluate and review findings and decisions.

Milestone 1 and 2 were completed in 2011 and 2012 while Milestone 3 is awarded upon the endorsement of a formal adaptation strategy which was received by Council on September 22, 2014.

An important step to climate change adaptation planning is to gain an understanding of what projected changes and impacts are expected. The expected six climate changes for Oakville were drawn from Environment Canada, Climate Ontario, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Canadian Climate Change Scenarios Network (CCCSN). For observed and projected climatic changes impacting Oakville visit Projected Climatic Changes in Oakville.

Once the climatic changes and impacts were realized, town staff worked to identify what actions could be taken by both staff and residents that would help to achieve the vision and objectives of this adaptation initiative.  

Vision

To build the town’s resiliency to the impacts of a changing climate.

Objectives

  1. To increase the town’s capacity to protect against and respond to projected climate change impacts.
  2. To educate through effective and efficient means of communication.
  3. To monitor the implementation of adaptation actions and goals in order to make continuous operational improvements.  

The development of the internal Climate Change Strategy – Technical Report and Oakville’s Climate Change Primer work to fulfill the above vision and related objectives.

Image of Climate Change PrimerOakville's Climate Change Primer

It was recognized when undertaking the development of the Climate Change Strategy that the residents of Oakville would benefit from the development of a specific document, geared towards public education.  

Oakville’s Climate Change Primer provides useful information for residents on the science and complexity of climate change with climate change projections for southern Ontario and more specifically Oakville.

This is primarily an online document that links directly to local information on how to protect human health, the natural environment, residential homes and properties against the impacts of a changing climate. Also discussed are town and regional projects that are working to mitigate and/or adapt to climate change.

A resource to be used to enhance personal preparedness will provide benefits to the resident in the protection of their health, safety and property. Actions by residents would also serve to reduce the call upon town and other agency services in times of extreme weather and emergency response.

Climate Change Adaptation Strategy – Technical Report

Following the BARC methodology, discussed above, an interdepartmental team of town staff identified and prioritized climate change impacts that are projected to face the town. Thirty-nine impacts were realized and over 300 adaptation actions were discussed. Town staff reviewed over 80 plans, policies, procedures, by-laws and programs to identify existing actions, planned actions and gaps related to climate change adaptation planning, these results can be found in the recently endorsed Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.  

The town has many climate change mitigation initiatives already in place that include:

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