MISSISSAUGA – Environmental monitoring data from Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) shows that local communities, including Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon and Orangeville, are experiencing similar climate change impacts reported globally in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report released August 9. The Report warns that climate change is proceeding faster than previously thought, especially in northern regions like Canada, and is unequivocally tied to human influence.
Locally, CVC monitoring data indicates average annual temperatures have increased by 1.75°C over the last 80 years. CVC has observed a decline in the frequency and intensity of extreme cold days (below -10°C), the growing season is 14 days longer and more precipitation has increased the risk of flooding, with the intense July 8, 2013 storm in Mississauga and Brampton as a prime example. Local communities are trending toward an increase in extreme heat days, exceeding the normal annual number in nine of the past 10 years. These findings align with observations reported globally in the IPCC report.
The report makes clear that climate change impacts are occurring and will continue at a rapid pace unless urgent action is taken. It also underscores the choices governments, agencies, corporations and individuals have to determine the future condition of our planet. Continued support for monitoring programs like CVC’s is essential for tracking issues and progress.
“Global climate change trends have been felt at the local level for several years and we all have a stake in helping our communities mitigate what we can and adapt to the new reality,” said Deborah Martin-Downs, Chief Administrative Officer for CVC. “As a local environmental organization, we work with the community and all levels of government as the boots on the ground, making a difference at the local level.”
With funding support from the Region of Peel and as a member of the Peel Climate Change Partnership (PCCP), CVC has accelerated local climate change action, including critical adaptation and mitigation measures. Key initiatives include updating flood mapping areas to reflect new climate change flooding scenarios, ensuring new development does not take place in flood-prone areas.
CVC is also leading a strategy to improve community resilience to flooding, which also received support from the National Disaster Mitigation Program. This is aided by an innovative Risk and Return on Investment Tool, developed by CVC with support from Public Safety Canada, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, RBC Nature Tech, and Friends of the Greenbelt, that helps municipalities and conservation authorities identify areas of high risk and make cost-effective decisions for flood risk mitigation.
CVC is also leading tree planting and naturalization efforts, working closely with private landowners and the public sector. Through partnerships with watershed municipalities, CVC is leading two Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plans (SNAP) in neighbourhoods in the City of Brampton and the Town of Halton Hills. These community-based initiatives are designed to build resilience to climate change.
CVC launched a Climate Change Strategy in July 2020 that guides priority climate change actions and calls for a transition away from fossil fuels to reduce emissions to net-zero by 2050.
Individuals play an important role in helping local communities mitigate and adapt to climate change. People can plant native trees, shrubs and flowers in their yard and gardens. They can engage with elected officials at all levels of government about climate change. Small actions taken by many people can have a positive impact, including walking and biking more, using public transit or carpooling, eating locally produced food and shopping sustainably. They can join CVC and other agencies at educational webinars, tree planting and other neighbourhood events to learn about and get involved in local action. People can donate to local conservation projects through the Credit Valley Conservation Foundation.
Learn more at https://cvc.ca/climate-change.
Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) is a local conservation authority established by the Ontario government in 1954 to protect, restore and enhance the natural environment of the Credit River Watershed. The watershed is the area of land where all rainfall, snowmelt and runoff drain into the Credit River and then Lake Ontario. CVC creates connections between people and nature, knowledge and action that inspires a deep appreciation for the role of nature in keeping people connected, healthy and happy. CVC is a member of Conservation Ontario.
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Credit Valley Conservation
905-670-1615 ext. 385