Climate Adaptation & Preparedness

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 the resulting risks will help protect our well-being, improve our prosperity, and lower costs for generations to come.

Being Ready

The advantages of preparing for climate risks are significant – from healthy, safe communities and sustainable agriculture to resilient forests and protected wildlife and natural spaces. Everyone has a role to play to help protect the place we call home.

Understanding risks and collaborating with those best able to prepare and plan for them is an important first step. Being aware of how climate change will impact our jobs and communities is also important to make sure we are taking steps to be prepared.

Actions Underway

The Climate Action Secretariat will be engaging the public to help inform the development of a new strategy, scheduled for release in 2020, to plan and prepare for BC’s changing climate.

To better understand climate-related risks in B.C., the Province has completed a Preliminary Strategic Climate Risk Assessment. The assessment will help inform these engagements, and will be an important tool for ministries to address climate change.

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
  • Identifying climate-related risks and actions through assessments for the agriculture, forestry, mining, hydroelectricity, and oil and gas sectors