Integrated Climate Action for BC Communities Initiative Survey 1: Summary Report
Canadian local governments face a perfect storm of limited capacity, aging infrastructure, and climate change impacts. Leaders and staff are experiencing increasing public pressure to ‘future-proof’ communities from the projected impacts of dangerous climate change by both reducing emissions (mitigation) and preparing for impacts such as flooding, sea level rise, and heatwaves (adaptation). Although mitigation and adaptation have often been planned separately, there are major benefits to integrating them, using a lens we refer to as low carbon resilience, or LCR. LCR is an approach designed to achieve strategic integration of climate change adaptation and mitigation, and holds potential for streamlining resources, identifying effective policy synergies, and pursuing co-benefit opportunities. Practical, effective LCR approaches can be applied in policy, planning, and practice in order to align climate action goals with other community development policies and practices. Embedding LCR into practice is a critical step in advancing the transition toward energy-efficient, resilient, sustainable communities. ACT’s Integrated Climate Action for BC Communities Initiative (ICABCCI) is designed to advance synergistic climate action in communities. Our team is committed to engaging a cross section of small/large, rural/urban BC local governments and First Nations over the next three years (2019-2022). The ICABCCI team will co-develop integrated climate action solutions, frameworks, and resources with partner communities at a variety of stages of climate action, with the goal of advancing practical and effective ‘planning to implementation’ LCR approaches. In March 2019, ACT surveyed fifteen respondents from twelve communities that have expressed interest in joining the ICABCCI LCR partner network. Highlights: 1. Respondents outline the need for greater integration of climate change action in planning, strategy, and implementation. 2. Respondents identified key LCR opportunities in asset management, corporate strategic planning, flood/stormwater planning, and in the coordinated implementation of their existing mitigation and adaptation plans. 3. Respondents prioritized enabling conditions needed to pursue an LCR approach. These conditions include strong leadership, funding, coordination, and role clarity. These results help frame how ACT’s ICABCCI team will work with and support partner communities. This report highlights key ICABCCI survey results and summarizes conclusions and next steps.