A new study looked at some 63 of the most populous municipalities across the country, and evaluated their plans to cope with climate change.Listen
The study, also co-authored with Jason Thistlethwaite and Daniel Henstra, both from the University of Waterloo, Ontario is called, “Evaluating the quality of municipal climate change plans in Canada” (abstract HERE)
What it found is that cities did have climate change plans, although more were focussed on mitigation than adaptation which is not proactive in dealing with the issue.
Guyadeen notes that cities are important players in the climate change discussion and its effects. He notes that municipalities have a lot of influence over land-use planning which can play a big role in dealing with, as an example, heavy rainfall and/or sudden spring thaws which can cause flooding, often with major damage and costs to property and infrastructure.
He also says there is a general lack of follow up on already established plans so its not easy to determine if goals set out by the municipalities are being met.
In this study, the researchers developed 46 indicators to measure eight plan quality characteristics (i.e., fact base, goals, policies, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, inter-organisational coordination, monitoring and evaluation, and plan organisation and presentation).
The benefit is that it is a baseline study to assess the quality and contents of plans.
With this guide municipalities can move forward on creating improved climate change policy, but Guyadeen also notes that the higher levels of government, provincial and federal need to both include and listen to municipalities in creating their climate change policies.