Adapting to rising sea levels is one of the actions identified in the plan. Photo by Mark Seal

Adapting to rising sea levels is one of the actions identified in the plan. Photo by Mark Seal

Campbell River wants input on Climate Change Action plan

Plan details ways city is planning to adapt to a changing climate

The City of Campbell River is looking at ways the community can adapt to climate change, and it wants your input.

A survey is being circulated asking for residents to give feedback on the city’s proposed climate change adaptation plan. The short survey asks people about their climate change priorities, how they think the city is doing on climate change, and which of the items outlined by the city they think are most important.

Chris Osborne is one of the senior planners with the city and is working on the city’s climate change strategies. He says that “generally when we’re speaking about climate change, we’re talking either about climate change mitigation, which are actions to reduce the causes of climate change. That means limiting greenhouse gas emissions and land consumption. The flip side of the coin is how we can live with the effects of climate change. That’s adaptation.”

“That’s what this plan really focuses on,” he added. “Looking at the projected increase in severe weather events, spread of invasive species, droughts etc, wildfire smoke, sea level rise, how will all those things effect the various infrastructure and social systems, and what we can do to make them more resilient.”

The city has plans in place for the mitigation side, including a 2012 energy and emissions plan that was updated in 2017.

The draft adaptation plan was conceived in tandem with eight other Vancouver Island municipalities through ICLEI Canada, a group that focuses on helping local governments work towards sustainability. The process involved workshops with First Nations, health professionals, school district representatives, non-profit organizations, utilities and businesses.

“The science is very very clear that we will see the impact of climate change,” he said. “Exactly what that looks like, there’s a bit more uncertainty about that, but we can make some reasonable estimates and plan accordingly.”

He explained that the idea is to formulate “plans that look at our various infrastructure and social systems and how they might be threatened by climate change and what we, not just we as the city but a group of responsible stakeholders such as the regional district, BC Hydro, school district and non-profit organizations all can do to plan for those impacts and climate change.”

The city sent out a survey, which can be found online here or at the City of Campbell River’s website, to help focus some of the planning and to show council where peoples’ priorities lie.

“It’s to find out which of the proposed actions in the plan people feel are most urgent and important so that will give council a message of where the community’s at, which will help them make decisions about the priorities are,” he explained. “The (city’s) Environmental Advisory Committee will also be reviewing this plan at least once a year and making recommendations to council on that. Hopefully that will kind of keep it fresh and relevant and near the top of people’s minds.”

The survey is open until Feb. 14, 2021.

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