Status: Needs Improving
Climate projections for Saskatoon predict that Saskatoon can expect future weather to be warmer, wetter, and wilder. Adapting to climate change means preparing for these changes by improving the resiliency of our services, infrastructure, and people.
Where are we now?
In 2019, the City developed the Corporate Climate Adaptation Strategy which outlines the actions needed to prepare for a changing climate. 20 of the 30 actions within the Corporate Climate Adaptation Strategy have been initiated.
What Are We Doing?
The City’s Triple Bottom Line (TBL) Policy aims to transform the way decisions are made in the City, requiring City staff and City Council to evaluate new initiatives by considering the initiatives’ impacts on environmental health and integrity; social equity and cultural well being; economic prosperity; and good governance. The desired outcome is more balanced decisions that include, amongst other things, a project’s resilience to a changing climate. The TBL Policy came into effect on January 1, 2020.
The Green Infrastructure Strategy was received by City Council in 2020 and lays out a vision for a green network that provides sustainable habitat for people and nature. The holistic green network considers natural, enhanced, and engineered green infrastructure, which as a system provides far more effective services when considered together than when apart. Nature-based solutions help Saskatoon sequester carbon and prepare for the impacts of climate change.
In 2019, the City adopted an Asset Management Policy and is currently in the process of implementing a Corporate Asset Management System including an Asset Management Strategy and asset management plans. Considering the projected impacts of climate change will help us improve the resilience of our critical infrastructure, which is vital to the City’s customers and the services it provides.
Operating out of Saskatoon Fire, the Emergency Management Organization (EMO) Department works with emergency response agencies, critical infrastructure partners, and residents to ensure Saskatoon is a resilient community. Resilient communities have the capacity to recover from large impact emergency events, including extreme weather events that are related to climate change.
Community Climate Adaptation Plan
A climate adaptation plan for the community will be developed over the next two years. It’s expected to include a community risk assessment and impact analysis to recommend an action plan that will help ensure citizens are informed and empowered to take individual actions to improve resiliency to the impacts of climate change.
What Can You Do?
Consider the resiliency of your home by improving energy efficiency, diverting rainwater away from your home and using it for landscaping, and having an emergency response plan for power outages or other events.
Did You Know?
Climate change disproportionately impacts vulnerable populations as it can exacerbate existing social inequalities. As recommended by Canada in a Changing Climate: Regional Perspective, climate change policies should “consider the unique vulnerabilities and strengths of these social groups, and also the means by which race, age, gender, and poverty amplify vulnerability or resilience to climate hazards”.