New federal panel will assess Canada's climate change readiness

Environment minister Katherine McKenna announced the creation of a new Ontario-wide panel to advise on our preparedness for climate change impacts, which will be chaired by University of Waterloo professor Blair Feltmate.

Committee is chaired by University of Waterloo researcher, Blair Feltmate

Blair Feltmate is the director of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo. (Submitted by Blair Feltmate)

The federal government is taking new steps to ensure Canadians are prepared for the impacts of climate change with a new expert panel.

Headed by the University of Waterloo's Blair Feltmate, the new Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Results will measure our readiness for major weather events caused by climate change.

"It's this committee that will address the adaptation component of the federal government's commitment to climate change," Feltmate told CBC K-W.

Feltman says Ottawa is committed to looking at climate change both from the perspective of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, as well as making sure the country is prepared for these extreme weather events.

The 25-member committee will develop metrics for determining our climate change readiness based on five key areas of focus:

  • Science.
  • Infrastructure.
  • Human health ramifications of climate change.
  • Vulnerable populations in the country to extreme weather events.
  • Accuracy of flood plain maps.

"The collective body of people will be looking at 'how do we measure success on those fronts?'" said Feltmate.

The committee's first official meeting is Sept. 20. 

They will present a report on their findings as well as some recommendations to the federal government in August 2018.

Although the focus of the panel is to determine how we can measure the success of our climate change action, he said they would also provide suggestions on how to address each metric.