What are your thoughts on the actions proposed to adapt to its impacts on our community in the Resilient St. John's Community Climate Plan?
Climate change is an urgent, complex and global crisis, with many of its impacts already impacting our community and more expected to become a reality before children born in 2021 become 30 years old. The City of St. John’s undertook a strategic risk assessment and planning process to inform how changes in climate may impact our community and what actions we can collectively take to address them. The assessment identified 55 unique impacts across the infrastructure, people & economy, and the natural environment of our community.
Infrastructure - Sea level rise is anticipated to increase erosion and likelihood of storm surges flooding coastal infrastructure. Precipitation changes are expected to increase stress and maintenance requirements on stormwater infrastructure and buildings (e.g., mould, leaks), while water crossings may experience increased vulnerability and potential for failure. Similarly, sport fields may see an increase in required maintenance due to flooding. Warmer summers will increase energy use for cooling, and demand for cooled venues for youth and vulnerable populations, as well as opportunities for gardening. Meanwhile, the increase in winter freeze-thaw cycles may increase maintenance requirements on roads. Increased extreme weather may lead to more frequent outages in communications and power.
People and Economy - Climate change will have direct impacts on St. John’s socioeconomic system. Impacts to our transportation systems (roads, public and active transportation) can impact the local economy by causing delays and disruptions to business operations. Similarly, impacts to the marine ecosystems, agriculture, and energy use can change the food security future of our community. Increased infrastructure maintenance and repair can lead to changes in servicing costs. Health impacts form climate change have been identified. This includes changes to winter leading to less opportunities for winter activities, increased incidence of vector-borne diseases, injury from extreme weather events, exacerbations to weather dependent health conditions (e.g., respiratory and cardiovascular conditions), and psychological effects of extreme weather impacts
Natural Environment - Warmer temperatures are expected to impact the freshwater and sea temperatures leading to changes in both ecosystems, as well as terrestrial ecosystems, including invasive species. These changes may also impact migratory birds and fish, which can have an impact on recreation and fishing activities. Temperature and precipitation changes are expected to create an extension to the forest fire season. The longer growing season also is expected to bring more pest management demand, but also provide an opportunity for gardening and food production. The impact of wind is uncertain, but if winds do increase (along with intensity of storms) it is expected that more tree blowdowns may take place (contributing to fire risk), and that wind would also impact the number of viable fishing days.
Four key focus areas for action in the Resilient St. John’s Community Climate Plan to adapt to its impacts on our community were identified through a combination of consultation with the public and through technical modelling.
- Smart Growth
- Resilient Natural and Built Infrastructure
- Thriving Natural Environment and Agriculture
- Disaster Resilience and Emergency Preparedness
Review the report including the proposed actions within these themes and have your say in the discussion below.
Thank you for your interest in this project. Consultation has now concluded. Check out the Life Cycle or News for updates.