The IJC, as part of its responsibilities under the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, is required to submit a triennial assessment of progress regarding Great Lakes water quality to the United States and Canadian governments. In its First Triennial Assessment of Progress (2017) the IJC found that there is no Great Lakes basinwide perspective, approach or strategy for addressing climate change. The IJC recommended that the U.S. and Canadian governments demonstrate global leadership by jointly developing, in cooperation with other government jurisdictions, including Indigenous governments, and nongovernmental organizations, a binational approach to climate change adaptation and resilience in the Great Lakes. The IJC also recommended that the U.S. and Canadian governments invest in a binational vulnerability assessment, defining the risks posed by climate change and providing technical support for measures to adapt to climate change, to engage stakeholders and all orders of government, and to identify priorities for responsive actions in the Great Lakes region. The basis of these recommendations comes from work undertaken by the IJC’s Great Lakes Water Quality Board in 2017. The Water Quality Board is continuing its efforts on climate change by working to advance these recommendations through engagement with key agencies and organizations to identify needs and mechanisms for binational communication and coordination related to climate adaptation and resilience.
Learn more about the Great Lakes Water Quality Board