Transforming & Re-Energizing Ontario: Impact Assessment for a Low Carbon Future
DATE: October 29th – 30th, 2019
LOCATION: Faculty Club – University Of Toronto, 41 Willcocks St, Toronto, ON M5S 3G3
The Government of Ontario’s A Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan commits to addressing climate change and its discussion paper entitled Modernizing Ontario’s environmental assessment program proposes a vision to modernize the almost 50-year old environmental assessment program. Shifting to an environmentally sustainable and low carbon future will bring huge challenges for Ontario, involving fundamental changes in how we meet our demand for energy, transportation, water, housing and food. Governments, the private sector and civil society organizations around the world are confronting these challenges and are energized by the emerging opportunities. Because it is not possible to know in advance exactly how the low-carbon transformation will unfold, environmental assessment has an important role to play in guiding actions around low-carbon solutions that our society can use to reduce impacts on the environment and people.
In Ontario, the transformation to a low carbon future is underway and occurring at a time when impact assessment is also undergoing review in the face of uncertainty and increasing complexity in our decision-making processes. In these times, impact assessment remains an important tool for helping clarify the choices we need to make to achieve a low carbon future. As impact assessment practitioners, we also need to transform and re-energize our discipline. If impact assessment is to support a low carbon future, practitioners will need to embrace innovation, develop and operationalize new assessment frameworks, systems and tools.