Efforts within our local governments, regional districts, and provincially to reduce GHG emissions will ultimately help influence long-term climate change and its impacts.
However, as a result of our historical emissions the earth will continue to warm for decades to come. As a result, adaptation is needed now to address these changes.
It is anticipated that our region can expect more long-term warming, extreme weather, changes to precipitation patterns and rising sea levels. As such we will need to prepare for and adjust to the unavoidable consequences of climate change and the way it impacts our communities, businesses and resources.
Adaptation in the CRD
Our coastal region has unique and significant vulnerabilities to climate change. Each municipality is going to be facing, and in many cases, is already facing, the environmental, economic and social consequences of a changing climate. In response to the growing interest and focus on climate resiliency across the region, the Climate Action Program is hosting an initiative to support member municipalities from 2010 – 2012 focused on adaptation.
In tandem with ICLEI Canada and provincial partners, the Climate Action Program is proposing to facilitate the development of Municipal Corporate Adaptation Plans focusing on three priority areas for local governments:
- Municipal public lands
This initiative will focus on impact identification, vulnerability analysis, risk assessment, implementation, indicator development, and monitoring on the above topics. By addressing climate impacts in municipal assets, this process will help to prioritize action and expand adaptive capacity across the region.
Adaptation questions to ask within your organization:
- What are the climate change issues that are likely to impact our organization’s core mandate, missions and operations in the foreseeable future?
- What is our plan for responding to physical risks to the organization arising from climate change?
- What strategies can we implement to address shortages or disruptions in required equipment or supplies due to adverse weather events?
- How do we evaluate the reputational risks that may influence key stakeholders related to our approach to dealing with climate change issues?
- What climate related regulations, policies or bylaws will our organization have to meet?
- What is the possibility of current or future nuisance, negligence, or other legal action that could arise from climate change related actions or inactions?
- What are out organization’s priorities for climate change adaptation over the next two years? Five years? Ten years?
Natural Resources Canada has developed a document that identifies how climate change will impact provinces across Canada. Chapter 8 identifies the impacts and adaptation issues in British Columbia and how they differ across our diverse landscapes. Key adaptation challenges are reviewed and discussed in greater detail and case studies provided where available.
The Provincial government has developed an adaptation strategy for BC that will help coordinate actions to help the province adapt to climate change. Preparing for Climate Change: British Columbia’s Adaptation Strategy provides a framework that addresses climate change impacts and adaptation moving forward.