International Joint Commission (IJC)
More than a century of cooperation protecting shared waters

Annex 9 - Climate Change Impacts

Purpose

The purpose of this Annex is to contribute to the achievement of the General and Specific Objectives of this Agreement by coordinating efforts to identify, quantify, understand, and predict the climate change impacts on the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes, and sharing information that Great Lakes resource managers need to proactively address these impacts.

Programs and Other Measures

The Parties shall take into account the climate change impacts on the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Waters of the Great Lakes and shall consider such climate change impacts in the implementation of this Agreement.

The Parties, in cooperation and consultation with State and Provincial Governments, Tribal Governments, First Nations, Métis, Municipal Governments, watershed management agencies, other local public agencies, and the Public, shall use their domestic programs to address climate change impacts to achieve the objectives of this Agreement.

The Parties shall communicate and coordinate binationally regarding ongoing developments of domestic science, strategies and actions to build capacity to address the climate change impacts on the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem.

Recognizing that climate change has an impact on Great Lakes water quality and water quantity, the Parties shall ensure that their actions taken pursuant to this Annex are coordinated, as appropriate, with the water quantity management actions taken by or in conjunction with the International Joint Commission.

Science

To identify and quantify the climate change impacts on the quality of the Waters the Great Lakes, the Parties, in cooperation and consultation with State and Provincial Governments, Tribal Governments, First Nations, Métis, Municipal Governments, watershed management agencies, other local public agencies, and the Public, shall:

  1. develop and improve regional scale climate models to predict climate change in the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem at appropriate temporal and spatial scales;
     
  2. link the projected climate change outputs from the regional models to chemical, physical, biological models that are specific to the Great Lakes to better understand and predict the climate change impacts on the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes;
     
  3. enhance monitoring of relevant climate and Great Lakes variables to validate model predictions and to understand current climate change impacts;
     
  4. develop and improve analytical tools to understand and predict the impacts, and risks to, and the vulnerabilities of, the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes from anticipated climate change impacts; and
     
  5. coordinate binational climate change science activities (including monitoring, modeling and analysis) to quantify, understand, and share information that Great Lakes resource managers need to address climate change impacts on the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes and to achieve the objectives of this Agreement.

Reporting

The Parties shall report on progress toward implementation of this Annex every three years through the Progress Report of the Parties.