Provincial Climate Change Plan Identifies Wildfire Risk

The province’s recently released report on climate change “Weather, Climate and the Future: B.C.’s Plan” makes 40 recommendations including the need to “improve fire protection for communities in British Columbia”. The document also makes a strong statement on the ownership of forest carbon sinks on Crown land.

climatechange.pdf

In the past decade, the issue of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions has become increasingly important to British Columbians. Over the last century, average temperatures have changed globally. Warmer temperatures in British Columbia have supported the rapid spread of the mountain pine beetle. British Columbians are also concerned about recent extreme weather events and effects, including forest fires, droughts and floods.

Climate change is a global challenge and although the nations of the world are front and centre in the effort to address climate change, all jurisdictions have a role to play, including British Columbia. British Columbia, like all provinces in Canada, is unique. And this unique position must guide the province’s contribution to the fight against climate change.

British Columbia has the third lowest greenhouse gas emissions per capita in Canada. Contributing to this leadership position are the significant investments the province has made in clean energy, transportation, communities and forest management.

At the same time, British Columbia is built upon the strength of its resource industries – forestry, mining, energy, and agriculture. It is these resource industries that will in large part decide the economic growth and success of British Columbia in the 21st century.

British Columbia’s efforts to address climate change must respond to the province’s strengths as well as its inherent challenges. Action on climate change will involve the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as well as preparation for future climate change and related extreme weather.

Since climate and other natural systems often respond with long lags to changes in emissions we must ensure that we are properly prepared. As British Columbians establish and implement plans at the provincial, local and household level to address climate change issues, those plans must recognize the need to protect and retain our competitive position in the North American market place, the primary market for our goods and natural resources.

British Columbia has developed a climate change action plan that incorporates these objectives. The plan responds to and protects the interests of British Columbia – it builds upon the significant investments already made in clean energy, infrastructure and forestry and is complemented by actions already underway to adapt to the challenges presented by the mountain pine beetle, forest fires and drought.

Web Link: http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/air/climate/