What We Do
Understanding what climate change means for Canada requires addressing potential impacts and how we, as a country, can best adapt. Adaptation is a critical response to climate change and is complementary to mitigation (which aims to reduce the rate and magnitude of climate change). Adaptation will reduce our vulnerability to climate change and allow us to take advantage of potential opportunities.
Since 1998, Natural Resources Canada’s Climate Change Impacts & Adaptation Division has funded more than 300 impacts and adaptation research projects.
These projects emphasized local decision-maker participation to facilitate the uptake of new data and information on climate change impacts and adaptation. However, while these projects have done much to increase knowledge of both impacts and our ability to adapt to them, it is not feasible to conduct detailed research projects at every location in Canada for all issues of concern. Building on the research knowledge and experience, the Division recognizes the importance of acting now to effectively respond to climate-related risks and opportunities.
Thus, the Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Division now encompasses two main activities:
- The Regional Adaptation Collaboratives (RACs) Program – This program will provide a mechanism for collaboration between different levels of government, private sector entities, and community organizations on complex adaptation issues that address federal, sectoral, or regional priorities. The objective of this initiative is to equip decision-makers with the information and advice that they need to make policy, operational, and management changes that respond to regional opportunities and threats from a changing climate.
- Tools for adaptation – This program will develop adaptation tools to support decision-making on whether and how to adapt to a changing climate. An adaptation tool is a method that guides non-climate change experts through a series of analytical steps to examine the implications of climate impacts on their policies, plans, and operations; and determine appropriate response options. There is a need to make climate change information relevant and useful to potential users from a variety of different sectors. An efficient way to meet this need is to develop tools tailored to meet user needs.