Moving forward on adaptation to climate change

"Barriers to adaptation action need to be addressed, including limitations in awareness and availability of information and decision-support tools."
- From Impacts to Adaptation: Canada in a Changing Climate 2007 -

Although there are several examples of recent and ongoing adaptation initiatives, the number of such actions is small relative to the scope of adaptation needs. As the rate of climate change increases, so does the urgency for adaptation action. Meeting this need will require addressing some of the existing barriers to adaptation actions, such as:

  • access to:
    • knowledge,
    • data, and
    • decision-support tools;
  • specific regulations or legislation that may limit adaptation options; and
  • societal expectations.

Moving forward on adaptation in Canada will involve building on the momentum established by existing initiatives, and taking new steps to promote and implement adaptation measures. Awareness-raising will be important for overcoming some barriers to action. Many decision-makers need a clearer understanding of the risks that climate change presents, and of the local and regional benefits that adaptation provides.

Although further research will help to address specific knowledge gaps and adaptation planning needs, existing knowledge is sufficient to start undertaking adaptation activities in most situations.