ccme releases a Guidance documenT on good practices in climate change risk assessment

CCME releases a guidance document on Good Practices on Climate Change Risk Assessment – 

Released in early 2021, the Guidance Document on Good Practices in Climate Change Risk Assessment was authored by ICLEI Canada on behalf of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME). Creation of this document was spurred by a desire to enable upper-level governments in Canada to lead by example by addressing climate change risks and building institutional resilience.

 The guidance document was designed for federal, provincial, and territorial governments to inform climate change risk assessment processes. This includes how to select the most appropriate approach for the assessment (e.g. top-down versus bottom-up) and how to select a framework to best suit your needs (e.g. ISO 31000:2018 versus the Ontario Climate Change and Health Toolkit). The development of the document was informed through a literature review of climate change risk assessment methodologies used at a variety of scales across Canada and internationally, followed by various expert interviews on how these methodologies were developed and used.

 The document opens with a summary of the fundamentals and guiding principles of climate change risk assessment, how risk assessments can be used to inform decision-making and the various approaches that can be taken to conduct this assessment, along with their advantages and disadvantages. Next are six questions that should be considered by users prior to undertaking a climate change risk assessment. Following this are the six frameworks that demonstrate good practices in climate change risk assessment, with supporting case studies that demonstrate how each framework was applied at a given scale or jurisdiction.

When exploring the applicability of each of the six good practices, users will be presented with the following information:

  • Framework description;
  • Target framework users;
  • Context of assessment the framework is best suited for;
  • Decisions or processes the framework is best suited to support or inform;
  • Stakeholders, partners, and organizations best suited to be involved;
  • Degree of collaboration;
  • Degree of contextualization and/or localization;
  • Aspects of the framework that assist with replicability;
  • Other promising practices with the framework (if applicable).

Each framework’s supporting case study provides a background of the project that was undertaken, information on the context of the assessment, how the project was planned and implemented, what elements within this case study can be easily replicated by other users, what challenges were experienced and lessons that were learned, as well as information on the positive outcomes of the project and the factors that contributed to its overall success.

A summary document was also created to further support users with the guidance document. This summary highlights many of the key themes discussed in the guidance document itself and includes an additional self-questionnaire to help navigate the good practices in climate change risk assessment. As no single framework is ideal for assessing all climate change risks, this additional questionnaire will aid users in choosing a risk assessment scope and approach based on their needs, objectives, and capacities.

Explore the Good Practices in Climate Change Risk Assessment and its summary document here.