Adaptation & Climate Impacts

British Columbia is already experiencing the impacts of climate change: average temperatures are increasing, sea levels are rising, and variable and extreme weather is becoming more frequent. Managing these risks now is essential to protect our well-being, improve our prosperity, and lower costs for generations to come.

Being Ready

The advantages of managing climate risks are significant – from healthy communities, sustainable agriculture, and stable livelihoods to resilient forests and protected ecosystems.

Everyone can and will need to adapt to build understanding, take action and promote awareness.

  • Understanding risks and collaborating with those best able to manage them is an important first step
  • Government and business can drive significant change – for example, governments can adjust building codes, support infrastructure and manage lands and resources; markets can encourage companies to disclose and address risks
  • Being aware in our jobs and homes is also important to make sure we are taking steps to be prepared

Actions Underway

The Climate Action Secretariat works to coordinate and support implementation of B.C.’s Climate Adaptation Strategy (PDF, 894 KB). Across the province, B.C. is taking climate change into account in diverse ways.

Here are a few examples with links to more detailed information by sector or ministry.

Transportation

  • Considering climate impacts in designing and maintaining highways, and developing best practice guidelines for a resilient transportation system

Communities and the Built Environment

  • Providing guidance to local governments and professionals on sea dike design and coastal development to protect people, buildings, and infrastructure from sea-level rise (PDF, 3.3 MB)
  • Providing guidance to planners through the Green Choices Guide (PDF, 1.5 MB) on opportunities for integrating adaptation into Official Community Plans

Natural Resources and Agriculture

  • Climate Change Strategy for forests lands and natural resources, helping respond to and mitigate climate impacts
  • Tree Species Selection Tool and the Climate-Based Seed Transfer Project
  • Farm Adaptation Innovator Program (FAIP) to encourage effective farm practices
  • Multi-partner regional adaptation strategies in key agricultural areas of the province, together with pilots and demonstrations for adaptation practices on B.C. farms and ranches

Protected Areas

  • Considering climate impacts in managing protected areas
  • Monitoring species change and ecosystem productivity on protected lands as useful benchmarks 

Public Sector Leadership

  • Requiring provincial public sector organizations to develop long-term adaptation plans

Climate Monitoring & Assessment

  • Providing projections of future climate conditions for British Columbia through collaboration with organizations like the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, a regional climate service provider
  • Operating and improving hydrological monitoring (climate, snow, surface water, and groundwater) to support decision-making for drought, flood, infrastructure planning, and ecological modelling
  • Identifying climate-related risks and actions through assessments for the agriculture, forestry, mining, hydroelectricity, and oil and gas sectors