Saturday, July 21, 2012

Vancouver plans to face climate change head-on

Kelly Sinoski and Michael Vinkin Lee in the Vancouver Sun:  The city of Vancouver has designed a climate change “adaptation” strategy to tackle a potential increase in street flooding, sewer backups, damaged forests and heat-related illnesses by 2050. The strategy, scheduled to go to council for approval in principle Tuesday, suggests nine measures to address the potential impacts of climate change, which is expected to bring more intense rain and windstorms, hotter and drier summers and rising sea levels, affecting the city’s economic prosperity and livability.

The actions range from a coastal flood risk assessment to a backup power policy, water conservation actions and a comprehensive urban forest management plan. If approved, the strategy would be reviewed annually and updated every five years.

“The climate is clearly changing and, in many instances, we are observing changes at the most extreme end of the projections made a decade ago,” the report states. “The city needs a strategy that will enable it to be prepared for these changes and continue to meet its goals in the face of climate change.”

Coun. Andrea Reimer said climate change has been on Vancouver’s radar for almost a decade, yet it continues to lag behind cities like Toronto and Halifax which already have plans in place.

She wouldn’t say how much the strategy was expected to cost, saying much of the work is based around policy decisions and work that is already being done. The report suggests costs could be as high as $750,000 for a coastal flood risk assessment and $200,000 for an urban Forest Management Plan....

A Vancouver skyline, shot by uncan Rawlinson, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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