Climate Change Plan
A changing climate is expected to change the pattern of weather that we are used to seeing – the kind of weather we get and when, including the types of storms and their frequency. These changes are expected to impact our growing season, the infrastructure we rely on, our recreation opportunities and the services we need. To respond to this, the RM of East St Paul is developing a Climate Change Plan to help our community identify what a changing climate will mean for our municipality and what actions we can take to address risks and take advantage of the opportunities.
The Climate Change Plan is composed of three reports: The Risk and Vulnerability Assessment, the Resiliency Plan, and the Implementation Strategy. Engagement with the community was critical, and primarily occurred through the Climate Change Advisory Committee, a group of ten residents who volunteered their time to commit feedback to the process. The Climate Change Steering Committee, composed of RM staff members and Councilor Devlin, was also instrumental in the development of the Climate Change Plan.
The RM’s Risk and Vulnerability Assessment engaged RM residents, staff, and Council to help determine the risks associated with climate change that residents, local wildlife, and infrastructure were likely to face. Peer-reviewed science and the latest predictions from Canada’s climate models (which are partly developed at the University of Winnipeg) helped guide these discussions. The result of this was the identification of nine climate hazards which are expected to impact the RM. The assessment also included the definition of three Resiliency Visions and Goals, or the desired future state of the RM where the risks of climate change have been met with positive action. The Risk and Vulnerability Assessment was adopted by council on December 15, 2020. You can read a copy of the report here.
Based on the findings of the Risk and Vulnerability Assessment, a series of Resiliency Actions were proposed in the second report, the Resiliency Plan. The aim of the Resiliency Actions is to better prepare the community against the climate hazards identified in the Risk and Vulnerability Assessment. Community input was sought through a public digital survey (The "Building a Resilient Community Survey”, open March 12 - 26, 2021) for the purposes of understanding the community’s level of concern with each identified climate hazard. By cross-referencing the Resiliency Actions against which climate hazards they helped mitigate, the actions could be prioritized. The Resiliency Plan was adopted by council on March 23, 2021. You can read a copy of the report here.
Finally, the Implementation Plan, the third of the three reports forming the Climate Change Plan, seeks to provide a schedule for the completion of the Resiliency Actions. Each action was assigned a responsible staff member and a schedule for completion. Staff time and budget estimates were made, as well as potential sources of funding. The Implementation Plan also lays out an annual review and monitoring framework which will provide an annual "check-up” on the progress of the plan. The Implementation Plan was adopted by council on April 13, 2021. You can read a copy of the report here.