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Audit says B.C. lacks climate change policies, especially on wildfires, flooding | Canadian Insurance
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Audit says B.C. lacks climate change policies, especially on wildfires, flooding

Auditor general says province may not be able to manage flood risks

British Columbia’s auditor general says the provincial government is working to adapt to the risks posed by climate change but it has no clear plan for wildfires and flooding.

Carol Bellringer says there is little monitoring of progress and reporting on performance involving the ministries of Environment, Agriculture, Transportation, Forestry, Housing and Emergency Management BC.

Related: B.C. wildfires caused more than $127 million in insured damage: IBC

Bellringer says the province may not be able to manage flood risks because roles and responsibilities are spread across many agencies and levels of government that could lack staff or technical capacity.

She has made 17 recommendations in a new report out today, including that the government provide the public with an overview of key risks and priorities, and create a plan with facts on timelines and how First Nations will be involved.

The audit was developed using the province’s February 2010 adaptation strategy, which calls on the government to consider climate change in protecting health and safety, maintaining public infrastructure, managing natural resources and achieving economic sustainability.

Bellringer says two responses are needed — mitigation by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation by lowering the potential harms and negative impacts climate change may cause.

But overall, she says it’s unlikely B.C. will meet its 2020 emissions reduction target of 33% below 2007 levels.

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