Produced by Ray Tomalty, Ph.D and Bartek Komorowski, MUP at Smart Cities Research Services, this report examines the potential impacts, both positive and negative, of climate change on the long-term viability of the Greenbelt and proposes a suite of measures to adapt to these changes. The main focus is on climate change impacts on the Greenbelt Plan’s main areas of concern: natural heritage, agriculture, recreation, and infrastructure.
Despite the consensus that the climate is changing and that impacts, some potentially very serious, are likely to occur in the long-term, neither the Growth Plan nor the Greenbelt Plan explicitly addresses climate change. Together, these plans work to shield natural heritage, agriculture, and recreational opportunities in the Greenbelt from impacts related to the ongoing urbanization of the GGH. Yet, urbanization is not the only potential threat to these systems; policy directions on how to enhance the adaptive capacity of these systems in order to retain their valued qualities in the face of a changing climate should be provided, especially within the Greenbelt Plan. Policies are required to guide the implementation of adaptation measures that seek to minimize threats to the viability of natural and human systems in the Greenbelt due to climate change, but also to make the most of any positive impacts that may occur.