Province wants residents help in shaping new climate change plan

Climate change can be felt across the province with record-breaking wildfires, droughts, floods and job losses in the forestry sector because of the mountain pine beetle infestation.

With the impact of climate change on the rise, the province is seeking public input on a new strategy to help prepare B.C. communities for this new reality.

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“British Columbians expect governments at all levels to act,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, in a press release.

“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 through an online questionnaire, discussion forum and written submissions until Jan. 10, 2020.

Additional public consultation will take place in early 2020. The new climate strategy will be released later in that year, according to the province.

Recently, B.C. released a Preliminary Strategic Risk Assessment, which identified a range of significant health, social, economic and environmental consequences the province could face from climate change, if action isn’t taken to help prepare communities.

This assessment will help inform the new climate strategy, according to the province.

“Climate change increases risk to people’s health through conditions like respiratory illnesses, allergies, cardiovascular disease and heat-related stresses,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, in the release.

“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 will also engage with B.C.’s Indigenous communities to learn how climate change uniquely affects their territories.

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