News Province warms up to public input on climate change SHARE ON: Ethan Ready, staff Thursday, Nov. 7th, 2019 Climate change (supplied by pexels) The Province is looking for the public’s thoughts to help develop a new strategy that will better prepare B.C. communities for the impacts of climate change. “Across British Columbia, we are seeing and feeling the steadily increasing effects of climate change – from record wildfires, to severe droughts and floods, to the job impacts of beetle-killed forests,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “British Columbians expect governments at all levels to act. Our CleanBC plan fights carbon pollution and puts our province on the path to a cleaner and stronger future – taking care of this special place for ourselves, our kids and our grandkids. Together, we can make sure our communities are prepared for future climate impacts, because waiting until they happen just makes no sense.” British Columbians can share their thoughts until Jan. 10, 2020, through an online questionnaire, discussion forum and written submissions. Additional opportunities for public input will follow in early 2020, with the release of the final climate preparedness and adaptation strategy later in the year. “By working together, we can support and help each other to be better prepared,” said Selena Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Individuals, businesses, Indigenous communities and local governments across B.C. are already taking strong action to address climate change. We want to build on this work and make sure people and communities have the support they need.” To help the Province set priorities in planning, the climate preparedness and adaptation strategy will also be informed by B.C.’s recently released Preliminary Strategic Climate Risk Assessment. The risk assessment identified a range of significant health, social, economic and environmental consequences from climate change, if further action is not taken to prepare. “Climate change increases risks to people’s health through conditions like respiratory illnesses, allergies, cardiovascular disease and heat-related stresses,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. “By preparing, we can reduce these risks so that people have the supports they need to protect their health and the health of their family.” The Province recognizes that climate change uniquely affects Indigenous peoples and their communities and territories. As it develops the climate preparedness and adaptation strategy, the Province will continue to engage with Indigenous communities to better understand how climate change affects their ways of life and listen to their priorities for action. Developing a strategy to adapt to climate change was a commitment in the Province’s CleanBC plan – a pathway to a more affordable, safe and sustainable future. CleanBC was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action policies to meet B.C.’s emission targets.