Climate Change, Floods, and Municipal Risk Sharing in Canada
Canadian municipalities are vulnerable to climate change risks, particularly in the form of extreme weather. Risk management demands public policies that share both the responsibility for risk reduction and the burden of costs with other levels of government and with non-governmental actors. What tools are available to municipalities seeking to share the growing risks associated with a changing climate? To what extent and how have these tools been employed in Canadian cities? With a focus on urban flooding, this paper systematically identifies and explains ways in which governments can share climate-related risks. It then evaluates whether and how these tools have been used in two major Canadian cities – Calgary, Alberta, and Toronto, Ontario – which have recently faced severe flooding, and are likely to experience more in the coming years. From this analysis, conclusions are drawn about the state of local climate risk management and how it might be improved.