B.C. strengthens actions to prepare for climate change with new strategy

0
94

VICTORIA – People in British Columbia will be better protected from the impacts of wildfires, flooding and extreme heat through the actions included in the new Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy.

The strategy includes actions across ministries supported by $513 million of investment to ensure British Columbia is prepared for climate impacts in the near term, while setting the foundation for future action.

“Last year’s extreme weather left no doubt that British Columbia is directly experiencing impacts of the climate crisis,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “We’re making record investments to recover from last year’s extreme floods and fires and adapt to future climate changes, as well as working to cut climate pollution through our CleanBC plan. We’re committed for the long-term. This new strategy takes targeted action now to support food security and resilient local agriculture, create better floodplain risk mapping to improve how we plan our communities, support more cultural and prescribed burning in partnership with Indigenous Peoples, and build more resilient highways and infrastructure so they can withstand future climate impacts.”

The strategy outlines a range of government actions to help people and communities prepare including:

* an expanded role for the BC Wildfire Service to provide enhanced wildfire prevention and preparedness;

* the development of a comprehensive provincial flood strategy and flood resilience plan to ensure communities are better protected from extreme flooding;

* an extreme heat preparedness plan to help people and communities stay safe during heat waves and extreme heat emergencies; and

* investments in nature-based solutions that will reduce the impacts of flooding and droughts by restoring healthy watersheds.

The strategy also includes investments for First Nations and local governments to increase wildfire protection through community-ledFireSmart activities. Last summer, the town of Logan Lake successfully fought back the threat of wildfire at its municipal borders, thanks to the work of local firefighters and years of implementing FireSmart practices.

The Province developed the strategy based on a wide range of input, including significant feedback through two working groups and multiple engagements with Indigenous Peoples and organizations. Additional input came from the general public, local governments, academics, businesses, non-profits, youth and others.

The Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy is part of the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030. The roadmap is the Province’s plan to expand and accelerate climate action by building on B.C.’s natural advantages – abundant and clean electricity, innovative technology and a highly skilled workforce. It sets a path for increased collaboration to build a British Columbia that works for everyone.