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Sub-program 3.1.4

Climate Change Adaptation


Climate change poses a risk to Canadian businesses, communities and infrastructure, and collaboration across multi-jurisdictional areas is challenging. This Sub-program supports collaboration amongst key regional stakeholders across Canada, including government departments and agencies, private sector and community organizations. These collaborations enable discussion on key adaptation issues and preparation of practical adaptation measures that will prepare for and take advantage of the risks and opportunities resulting from climate change. This Sub-program also delivers scientific analysis on key climate change issues affecting Canada's North (North of 60 latitude). Overall, this Sub-program helps Canada to better understand, make informed decisions and take practical actions to respond to a changing climate.

Non-Financial Performance Information
Expected Result Performance Indicators Targets
Key stakeholders across Canada consider climate change/adaptation issues in their decision-making Percentage change in number of public or private sector decision-makers considering climate change in their planning 30% total increase over 2009-10 baseline of 13 decision makers by March 31, 2015
Governments and communities in the North (North of 60 latitude) are aware of information on adaptation measures Number of projects (for design or implementation phases) considering climate change geoscience adaptation measures 4 by March 31, 2014
Financial Performance Information ($ thousands)
Planned Spending Main Estimates
10,914 10,914

FSDS Theme 1 – Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality

FSDS Goal 1 – Climate Change

Reduce greenhouse gas emission levels to mitigate the severity and unavoidable impacts of climate change.

FSDS Target 1.1 – Climate Change Mitigation

Relative to 2005 emission levels, reduce Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) 17% by 2020.

FSDS Implementation Strategy – Clean Air Agenda

1.1.5 Undertake and deliver scientific research and reporting in support of regulatory and other programs, including data analysis, inventory development, monitoring, modeling and assessment of the effectiveness of efforts as well as research on options, costs and benefits, and technology assessments. (EC, HC, NRCan, TC)

FSDS Implementation Strategy – Clean Energy

1.1.31 Work with Aboriginal and northern communities, organizations and governments on climate change issues through the development of sustainable energy initiatives and supporting them in managing vulnerabilities and opportunities created by a changing climate. (INAC, NRCan)

FSDS Implementation Strategy – International Work on Climate Change

1.1.43 Work with international partners to implement commitments in the Copenhagen Accord such as mitigation targets and actions; short and long-term financing; mechanisms for technology and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation; adaptation actions; and provisions for transparency and accountability of climate change actions. (EC, NRCan)

How Activity Supports FSDS Target

New geoscience information and outreach activities for decision-makers across Canada will facilitate climate change issue management and help communities prepare for and adapt to a changing climate. These activities will also contribute to advancing the knowledge and communications around climate change mitigation and will ultimately help to reduce Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Changes to Canada’s northern climate will likely be more profound than in other regions. Adaptation measures will need to be carefully designed in order to preserve Canada’s sensitive Arctic and sub-Arctic environments. As well, successfully planning for and managing the impacts of climate change require not only the exploration of the risks and opportunities created by a changing climate but also co-operation among multiple levels of decision-makers.

NRCan is collaborating with local and territorial governmental partners on specific issues related to impacts of climate change including on northern land-based and coastal infrastructure, which will enable Aboriginal and northern governments, organizations and communities to understand better and apply climate change adaptation measures.

In addition, agreements with other federal government partners on northern issues have been developed and engagement of academia, government and industry on northern climate change issues (permafrost, glaciers, snow and land cover) is ongoing. NRCan delivers a national Adaptation Platform to facilitate collaboration among key stakeholders in the private sector, governments and professional organizations, enabling the discussion of key adaptation issues and development of practical adaptation measures.

These activities will contribute to better methodologies and infrastructure plans as well as advancing the knowledge and communications around climate change, which are communicated internationally. Thus initiatives under this Sub-program contribute indirectly to FSDS Target 1.1 – Climate Change Mitigation.

Program Name: Enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate

CAA Theme: Adaptation Theme

Description of Enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate:

NRCan’s Enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate program involves activities in the Earth Sciences Sector (under Sub-program 3.1.4), the Minerals and Metals Sector (under Sub-program 2.2.1) and the Canadian Forest Service (under Sub-program 3.1.3). The activities for this program for each sector are described below.

Earth Sciences Sector (ESS) Climate Change Impact and Adaptation (CCIAD)

Successfully planning for and managing the impacts of climate change requires not only the exploration of the risks and opportunities created by a changing climate but also information sharing and co-operation among multiple levels of decision-makers. This program is delivering an Adaptation Platform that brings together industry and professional organizations, provincial, territorial and federal departments as well as other relevant organizations to address shared adaptation priorities. The Adaptation Platform will enhance the competitiveness of regions and key industries by providing a structure to bring together knowledge, capacity and financial resources from across Canada to produce information and tools that regions and key industries need to understand and adapt to the effects of a changing climate on their operations.

Minerals and Metals Sector (MMS) Project on Mine Waste Management in a Changing Climate

Climatic warming in the North poses new challenges to various mining-related activities, especially mine waste management and effluent treatment. Relying on available and proven technologies without exploring new alternatives is inadequate to efficiently tackle the pending challenges. As part of a larger departmental program on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation, CanmetMINING is assessing the current mine waste management and effluent treatment practices in the North with respect to their ability to accommodate the impacts of extreme climatic events. The work focuses on northern mining vulnerability, examining operations, development and reclamation projects, as well as researching potential adaptation options.

Canadian Forest Service (CFS) Climate Change Impact and Adaptation

The Canadian Forest Service is building a national framework to integrate existing and new scientific information and enable the integrated assessment of the implications of climate change for Canada’s forest sector. The program includes developing a set of indicators of climate change impacts on Canada’s forests and forest management systems, and implementing a system to track and report on them. A toolkit of useful and actionable information and tools to inform operational, strategic and policy decisions on adaptation and to enhance forest sector capacity to mitigate climate change impacts is being developed in close collaboration with Canada’s forest sector.

Expected program results for 2013-14:

NRCan’s Enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate Program will deliver information and share expertise to improve the ability of decision-makers in Canada’s regions and targeted economic sectors to adapt. The Earth Sciences Sector will establish an Adaptation Platform and continue to bring together knowledge, capacity and financial resources to efficiently and effectively facilitate adaptation action. In 2013-14, cost shared projects funded under the Mining, Northern and Measuring Progress Working Groups will deliver preliminary results that will be shared broadly. A second call for proposals will fund activities in existing and newly established working groups including Economics of Adaptation and Energy. The program will also deliver an update to the 2007 national assessment of climate change impacts and adaptation. The Minerals and Metals Sector will deliver a report and a technical seminar to improve knowledge on the climate change impacts on mine waste management and effluent treatment in the North and offer practical adaptation technologies. The Canadian Forest Service will deliver a prioritization framework for indicators of climate change impacts, develop an initial adaptation toolkit, and start reporting results of its tracking system. In 2013-14, the program will also identify the areas of focus and the methodology for its integrated assessment.

Performance measures:

Key outcomes Indicators Targets Tracking
Increased awareness and engagement in adaptation Change in number of decision-makers aware and engaged 30% increase in awareness of adaptation over 2009 benchmark by 2014 Survey in 2014-15
Participation in the Adaptation Platform 90% of targeted stakeholder groups participate Reports on Platform activities
Increased capacity of individuals, communities and economic sectors to adapt to a changing climate Mining staff, regulators and public more aware of climate change effects on the management of mine wastes and potential mitigation strategies 300 individuals in the mining sector (mining company and regulatory staff) and public participate in information sessions or training related to project findings Number of people who attend project information sessions and other project activities
Program spending for 2013-14
Total CAA Program Planned Spending
7,900,000Footnote 1


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