Climate Preparedness & Adaptation

Our changing climate is already impacting people across British Columbia – from summer heat and wildfires to more frequent flooding and storm surges. Preparing for climate change is about understanding these changes and developing appropriate measures so we’re ready for climate impacts now and in the future.

Being Ready

A changing climate is one of the key factors shaping our society including our homes, health, economy and natural environment.

The work B.C. is doing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is critical to limit future climate change. But greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere will continue to cause changes over the coming decades.

As our climate changes, we’ll need to make sure buildings and infrastructure are ready for increasing floods and wildfires and hotter summers. We’ll need to plan for the most efficient use of our water and consider plant species that are best adapted to our changing growing season.

Preparing proactively for climate impacts is more effective and less expensive than responding after the fact.

Actions Underway

The Province is developing a climate preparedness strategy, scheduled for release in 2020, to help ensure we’re ready to reduce risks and find opportunities resulting from B.C.’s changing climate. Your input is needed to help inform the strategy.

Have your say: engage.gov.bc.ca/climatereadybc/

To better understand climate-related risks in B.C., the Province has completed a Preliminary Strategic Climate Risk Assessment, which examined 15 climate risks and their potential consequences in 2050. The assessment will help inform the climate preparedness strategy and help government develop appropriate measures to address those risks. 

The Province already has a number of programs and resources in place to help prepare for the impacts of climate change.

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 

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