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Region of Queens Municipality

Nova Scotia, Canada

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Under the terms of the 2010 – 2014 Gas Tax Agreement and Municipal Funding Agreements, all municipalities are required to prepare a Municipal Climate Change Action Plan (MCCAP). The MCCAP focuses on both climate change adaptation and mitigation and will set out how municipalities plan to respond to climate change.

The MCCAP focuses on:
 hazards which are most likely to have an impact on the Region of Queens Municipality, as a result of climate change;
 indentifying areas within the municipality which are most vulnerable to these hazards; and
 determining how the Municipality can adapt to limit the negative impacts that may result from climate change.

For the preparation of the Climate Change Action Plan, the Region of Queens Municipality formed a Climate Change Adaptation Committee consisting of municipal staff, Councillors and other stakeholders, as necessary. The role of the Committee was to coordinate the work of Municipal Staff by reviewing and making recommendations on development of the Plan.

The evaluation of climate change and how it will impact our Municipality ranges in scope from broad trends to area specific hazards and impacts. It is the intention of the MCCAP to:
 provide a better understanding of the weather and climate related changes that have been occurring in our area;
 look at how these changes to the weather and climate patterns may worsen existing hazards;
 look at how these changes to the weather and climate patterns may lead to new hazards; and
 identify opportunities which may result from climate change in the future.

In looking at what climate change impacts could be experienced in the Region of Queens Municipality, the Adaptation Committee focused on three general climate trends that we are seeing:
1. Increase in annual temperatures;
2. Increase in annual precipitation; and
3. Increase in frequency and intensity of storms.

Out of these general climate trends arise a number of hazards and resulting impacts which the Adaptation Committee felt would have the most significant impact on the Region of Queens Municipality.
 Sea Level Rise
 Storm Surge
 Flooding
 Erosion
 Drought
 Forest Fires
 Hurricanes / Tropical Storm

The effects of climate change on Queens County are likely to vary from area to area. In this section, we will look at a number of factors which could affect how climate change impacts all, or particular parts of, our County. In an effort to develop a better understanding of the impacts of climate change, the MCCAP:
1. look to the past to identify where issues have previously occurred; and
2. determine what new hazards and impacts we could expect in the future.

Utilizing this information we can identify where climate change impacts could, or will, become an issue requiring the implementation of adaptive measures.

One of the primary reasons for preparing a municipal climate change action plan is to assess existing infrastructure and key facilities to determine their susceptibility to the effects of climate change. The MCCAP will:

 Identify key facilities and infrastructure in the Region of Queens Municipality;
 Identify where key facilities and infrastructure are located;
 Determine what facilities and infrastructure are most susceptible to the effects of climate change; and
 Evaluate the impacts of climate change on the delivery of municipal services.

In identifying the key facilities and infrastructure within the Municipality, the Committee conducted a preliminary risk assessment on existing assets and prioritized them from the stand point of anticipated impacts on the community if the assets were no longer able to be used or accessed.

Climate change can have social, environmental and economic impacts. The MCCAP will take these considerations into account when evaluating anticipated impacts on municipal operations and infrastructure.

One of the primary objectives of developing a municipal climate change action plan is to identify, establish and prioritize issues related to climate change, in an effort to determine a course of action that Municipalities will take in managing and adapting to climate change hazards and impacts. The MCCAP will:

 Prioritize climate change adaptation issues which are considered to present the greatest risk to the Municipality;
 Identify possible course(s) of action for issues identified as priority; and
 Develop and approach to integrate the adaptation priorities into municipal planning documents.

While the Council of the Region of Queens Municipality recognizes the important role it has to play in adapting to climate change, it also recognizes the role it can play in mitigating the effects of climate change. Climate change mitigation has been defined as human intervention to reduce the sources and enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases.

Mitigation can take many forms, some of which include: reduction of reliance on fossil fuels by switching to renewal energy sources, improving insulation of buildings and conversion of standard heating and lighting equipment and fixtures to more energy efficient products. The primary objective of mitigation is to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) being emitted into the atmosphere.

Click here for the full Municipal Climate Action Plan.