The Canadian Electricity Association announces Climate Change Adaptation Plans in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada

OTTAWA (April 5, 2019) – Today, the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced funding for a partnership with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to facilitate guidance documents for electric utilities to create sector specific climate change adaptation plans.

“This year, we have been reminded time and time again the importance of safe, reliable and sustainable electricity. As weather patterns change and electricity companies are faced with new and challenging circumstances, this announcement comes at a good time,” stated Francis Bradley, CEA’s Chief Operating Officer, “The development of these guidelines will help utilities sort through the informational noise to make better investment decisions given the uncertainty around climate change.”

Expert consultants will develop an overarching framework for utilities to follow as they advance their adaptation plans. Along with written guidelines, CEA will also be holding a series of training workshops across Canada to work with member companies while addressing regional and utility specific operational realities.

“Planned adaptation to climate change is often more cost-effective than reactive adaptation,” said Channa S. Perera, CEA’s Vice-President of Policy Development. “CEA is pleased to collaborate with NRCan on this adaptation planning guide to help our members effectively anticipate, plan for, and respond to climate-related risks. Finding and sharing common approaches is also a key factor of the success of these workshops to work towards building resiliency. We greatly anticipate facilitating workshops in Ontario, in the prairies, out west, and in the north.”

This project supports the work of CEA’s Climate Change Adaptation Committee, which is a perennial resource for members who are looking to share and learn from their colleagues across the country.  As Canada’s electricity sector is preparing for the upcoming challenges to our aging infrastructure and capabilities of climate change, the creation of these networks engages our members and highlights resiliency in all the work that they do.

The pilot workshop launched on March 28th in Saint John, New Brunswick with four Atlantic utilities in attendance, from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador. CEA members will learn from the experiences of companies that have successfully engaged their stakeholders to secure approvals and support for investments. Utilities are aware of the challenges that climate change will bring – they are on the front lines, with utility staff fighting to keep the grid functioning through increasingly severe weather events.