Canada, provinces lack clear plan to adapt to climate change, auditors say

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OTTAWA — A new audit says neither Ottawa nor the provinces have really assessed the risks a changing climate poses to the country and have no real idea what might be needed to adapt to it.

The joint audit, conducted by federal environment commissioner Julie Gelfand and auditors general in nine provinces, looks at climate change planning and emissions reduction progress between November 2016 and March 2018.

It says while many governments have high-level goals to cut emissions, few have detailed plans to actually reach those goals, such as with timelines, funding or expected results from specific actions.

The audit says assessments to adapt to the risks posed by climate change have been haphazard, inconsistent and lacking in detail, with no timeline for action and no funding.

The country’s emissions goals are also a hodgepodge of different targets, with no consistency in how emissions are measured or whether emissions cuts will target overall greenhouse gas outputs or just those from specific economic sectors.

The auditors say that means there is no clarity on how Canada and the provinces and territories are going to measure, monitor and report on their contributions to meeting Canada’s international commitment to cut emissions by at least 30 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.

The Canadian Press