Global warming is a reality. We have already witnessed some of its effects, which are expected to intensify over time. Scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) unanimously agree that even if we do everything in our power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stabilize their concentrations in the atmosphere, climate change will persist for a long time due to the long lifespan of these gases.
Therefore, as we work to curb GHG emissions in Québec and around the world, we also need to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Toward that end, Québec released its first-ever adaptation strategy in June 2012: the 2013–2020 Government Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation (PDF, 850 KB).
The strategy lays out the master plan for government intervention in climate adaptation, enabling Québec to minimise the direct and indirect impacts of climate change, including their costs with respect to public and community health and safety, economic activity and built and natural environments. The strategy also aims to increase awareness on this issue in Québec and to foster local and regional ownership of climate change adaptation solutions. Central to the action proposed in the 2013–2020 Government Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation is the development of knowledge and know-how in terms of adaptation, awareness and training, land planning, risk management and the integration of adaptive measures into the public administration. Several ministries are working to complete adaptation projects together with Ouranos, a consortium that develops fundamental knowledge on climate evolution in Québec. The multipartite structure of Ouranos allows it to be a core partner in projects that seek a better understanding of the consequences of climate change in Québec and to develop appropriate adaptation solutions.
A Climate Change Advisory Committee comprised of experts in a variety of fields was set up in 2014 to counsel the government on the best measures to put into place to enable it to reach its ambitious goals in the fight against climate change.