What is adaptation to climate change?
Adaptation to climate change is about becoming more resilient. It is taking action to reduce the impacts of climate change on built, natural and social systems, while taking advantage of opportunities that arise from climate change.
Why is adaptation important?
Climate change impacts for Southern Ontario are likely to affect a variety of systems in the Town of Essex, from physical systems like drainage and water treatment, to ecological systems like the wetlands and the composition of the Great Lakes.
Even with mitigation efforts, some changes are inevitable. Greenhouse gas emissions will continue to cause the Earth to warm and the changes associated with this warming will be felt for decades to come. The need for adaptation is becoming undeniable as municipalities encounter the impacts of a changing climate.
Adaptation action in Essex
The Town of Essex is participating in the second cohort of a two-year program, Local Governments for Sustainability, offered by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. ICLEI is an international association of local governments as well as national and regional local government organizations who are committed to sustainable development.
The Town’s program, called the Adaptation Initiative, offers Essex the chance to implement Changing Climate, Changing Communities: Guide and Workbook for Municipal Climate Adaptation with support from ICLEI staff. Changing Climate, Changing Communities provides ICLEI’s milestone-based framework to assist municipalities in the creation of a localized Adaptation Plan.
A report outlining proposed adaptation strategies will be presented to Council this year.
Existing climate adaptation action
Southern Ontario is experiencing more extreme heat. As a result, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is monitoring temperature and humidex from April to October to identify potentially dangerous heat days.
Stay Cool Windsor-Essex informs the public of extreme heat days, as well as providing tips for staying cool.