Climate Change Adaptation Strategy


As the front-line public service providers to Canadians, municipalities are uniquely positioned to lead planning that adapts communities to the effects of a changing climate.

The Municipality of South Huron has received funding from the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (MCIP) to prepare an adaptation strategy for our region that protects our assets and ensures long-term service continuity.

The two-year project is delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and funded by the Government of Canada. South Huron was among 58 communities in Canada who received funding through the MCIP and is the only lower-tier municipality in Huron County to receive the funding.

This funding has allowed us to hire a Climate Change Officer, who will lead the planning and implementation of the strategy, which will include on-going consultation with interested stakeholders and community members.

The Municipality is ready to lead the climate change discussion for South Huron.

 What is climate change?

Climate change refers to a significant variation to long-term (typically 30 years or longer) change in climate which reflects changes in weather patterns, including an increase in temperature, fluctuating precipitation patterns and extreme weather events.

  • An example of a climate related question: What was the average summer temperature for the period of 1980-2010 for Ontario?  

Describing climate change is not the same as describing weather. Weather refers to the short-term variation in atmospheric conditions (temperature, wind, precipitation, humidity, cloud cover) that occur from minutes to weeks.

  • An example of a weather related question: What was the average temperature for this week? Did it rain this week?

 How can the Municipality respond to climate change?

 The Municipality can respond in two ways: Adaptation and Mitigation.

  • Adaptation is an action that adjusts practices, processes or structures in response to the unavoidable impacts, either threats or opportunities, caused by climate change.

  • Mitigation refers to measures implemented to reduce the main sources of climate change (e.g. GHG emissions reduction) that contribute to the unavoidable impacts.

The most effective response to climate change includes efforts of both adaptation and mitigation, designed to work concurrently and not to undermine or replace each other.

 Why should the Municipality look at impacts from climate change?

To prepare for the future, the Municipality must be resilient.

Understanding the impacts from climate change is important to ensure South Huron is able to adapt the unavoidable changes. Informed decisions made today will play an important role in preparing for the future of South Huron.

Climate change presents itself as both threats and opportunities. The Municipality must be prepared to adapt to the threats and embrace the opportunities presented. Through proactive planning for threats and opportunities, the Municipality will avoid disorder and high costs associated with reactive efforts.

 What will South Huron's climate change strategy look like?

Adaptation is the focus of South Huron’s Climate Change Strategy. The goal of effective adaptation is to anticipate the impacts ahead of time (proactive) rather than after the impacts have been experienced (reactive).

Over the next two years, the strategy will answer the following questions:

  • What will our future climate look like?  (Regional climate change projections)
  • What assets will be most affected? (Identify impacts to all Municipal assets)
  • What assets are most at risk and vulnerable?  (Risk and vulnerability assessment)
  • What actions are priority for the Municipality?  (Prioritize actions to address impacts)
  • How can South Huron prepare for the future? (Implement actions into Municipal operations)

About our project partners

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is a voice for municipalities across Canada. They provide support to strengthen communities and to ensure the needs are reflected in federal policies and programs.  With funding from the Government of Canada, the FCM launched the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (MCIP). The MCIP is a five-year $75-million program aimed at providing assistance to more than 600 municipalities in responding to climate change for the protection of citizens, environment and the economy.


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