March 31, 2015

Climate Data Roundtable

2015_03_31_Climate Data RoundtableClimate data – projections about what the future climate will look like in terms of temperature, precipitation, etc. – helps a variety of end users, including governments and companies, make more climate resilient long-term investment decisions.

However, in Ontario, access to such data data is a key policy challenge. Many end users in Ontario don’t know where to find the data, or how to use it in a scientifically sound way, meaning that many capital spending decisions are being made without regard to the changing climate.

In January 2015, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) brought together a range of stakeholders and experts for a one-day roundtable, with the goal of exploring the needs of climate data end users and providers, the opportunities and barriers to greater uptake of climate information, and potential governance models to help move towards appropriate solutions in Ontario.

The roundtable consisted of a series of presentations followed by small-group discussions. The invited participants came from federal, provincial, municipal and regional governments, academia, conservation authorities, companies, environmental organizations, and industry associations, and every effort was made to ensure a diversity of views at each table.

The day was organized into three main themes:

  • Climate Data User Needs, focused on understanding the current state of climate data and information in Ontario, and the challenges end users face in using and accessing this data.
  • Future Directions for Climate Data, focused on exploring current climate data initiatives by various levels of government and academia, and how they could better meet the needs of end users.
  • Governance Models, focused on the role of the private and public sector in delivering climate data to end users in a more accessible format. It also explored the governance models of climate services organizations in other jurisdictions and how applicable they may be to Ontario.

More information about this roundtable, including the agenda and presenter slides, is available here.


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