Climate Action in Saskatoon: Mitigation and Adaption
Climate adaptation is necessary because Saskatoon is already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Even with significant reductions in emissions, our climate will continue to change. The amount of change we need to prepare for and adapt to depends on how much we reduce global emissions (mitigation). Early adaptation saves money in the long run by anticipating and preparing for impacts before they occur.
Cities continue to be at the forefront of climate action, leading mitigation and adaptation efforts and responding to the effects of climate change. Saskatoon's climate action plan has two main parts: reducing emissions (mitigation) and preparing the city for a changing climate (adaptation).
|What is it?||Reduce our emissions to net zero.||Adjust to the expected and actual effects of climate change in Saskatoon.|
|Goals||Limit the amount of climate change across the world.||Reduce risk and prepare for the health, safety, and financial impacts of climate change. Increase our ability to thrive as we navigate new climate conditions.|
|Examples||Energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, switching to renewable energy.||Planning for extreme heat, reducing flood risk, insulating and shading homes and businesses.|
Mitigation and adaptation work best together. Some actions can achieve both mitigation and adaptation goals. For example, improving insulation in buildings decreases the energy required to heat and cool, reducing emissions, and makes the buildings more comfortable in hot weather, helping us adapt to increased hot days in summer.
How the City of Saskatoon is Adapting to Climate Change
The corporate climate adaptation plan, Local Actions: The City of Saskatoon’s Adaptation Strategy, sets out the actions to prepare Saskatoon for a changing climate, focusing on four areas:
Decision Making: Embedding climate risk into decision-making helps ensure the City is preparing for a changing climate. Examples include: improving data management and sharing, accessing funding from sources outside of tax revenue, and building capacity using the Triple Bottom Line tool.
Services: The City provides many services like water, power, transportation, and recreation; many of these are at risk as the climate changes, and delivering climate-ready, resilient services under changing conditions requires proactive planning. Examples include: proactive preparation for emergencies like the Roadways Emergency Response Plan and the Extreme Heat Emergency Response Plan.
Staff: Protecting staff and adapting jobs for a changing climate. Examples include: identifying climate impacts to staff who work outdoors, and piloting initiatives to reduces those impacts.
Asset and Resource Management: The cost of designing and building using only historical or current climate information is likely to result in a faster deterioration rate and higher insurance premiums (at best) and asset failure and destruction of lives, property, and the environment (at worst). Examples include: updating corporate standards, increasing integration of green infrastructure to improve resilience, and incorporating climate risk and impacts into asset management plans.
Track Our Progress
Progress on mitigation and adaptation measures are included in the 2021 Climate Action Progress Report.
You can learn more about our emissions reduction targets and progress at Saskatoon.ca/ClimateTargets.