What is the Consortium?
The Ontario Climate Consortium (OCC), the Consortium, represents a distributed collective of scientists, researchers and practitioners from across Ontario with a focus on addressing climate change issues pertinent to Ontario and beyond.
To equip public and private sector decision makers with regionally-specific climate data, intelligence and adaptation services that enable effective policy and investment responses to climate uncertainty in Ontario.
- Provide one-window access to multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral and multi-institutional climate change expertise in Ontario;
- Generate high quality, regionally-specific climate intelligence that empowers Ontario stakeholders to meet mitigation and adaptation needs; and
- Cultivate constructive collaboration between public and private sector climate practitioners to advance climate research and build a world-class climate industry in Ontario.
What is the Consortium?
The Consortium developed through a consensus building process with universities across Ontario, all levels of government, conservation authorities, NGOs and the private sector. The Consortium builds upon the well-established climate science expertise located within partner universities but also the practical experience of end-users such as large urban municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and conservation authorities across the province.
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority provides secretarial services and coordination for the Consortium in partnership with York University, McMaster University and Western University.
What’s at stake?
In the decades to come, hundreds of billions of dollars of critical infrastructure may be impacted by a changing climate in Ontario, along with strategic industries like agriculture, forestry and tourism. Successive governments and private sector stewards will be faced with the challenge of not only protecting existing infrastructure and assets, but also retrofitting those investments to adapt to a changing climate that is only expected to become more extreme and unpredictable.
Why the need for the Consortium?
Climate adaptation is a national, provincial and local issue which requires an effective local response to mitigate the possible risks. The Consortium’s purpose is to aid decision-makers to ask and answer questions at an appropriate scale.
The Consortium has emerged as a direct response to federal and provincial calls for informed, pro-active response to climate change and climate risk. The Consortium’s objective is to facilitate Ontario’s transition to a climate-resilient, climate-ready province by building local capacity for state of the art climate science and associated research while supporting a wide range of end users and their needs.
As noted by Ontario’s Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation the province is in need of “the best available data, tools, techniques and technology, including regional climate models, to support climate adaption in Ontario.”
By creating a targeted forum for generating and applying climate intelligence, the Consortium will play a central role in an integrated provincial response to climate change – a role that will both strengthen our collective capacity to respond to urgent climate threats, and position Ontario at the forefront of climate change thought and action globally.