Climate change and adaptation in Vancouver

Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

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Despite our efforts to reduce carbon pollution, we need to ensure Vancouver is prepared for the impacts of a changing global climate.

What is climate change adaptation?

Adapting to climate change means understanding what climate we are likely to experience in the future, and creating proactive plans that take advantage of opportunities and prepare for impacts. This is different than mitigation, which refers to our efforts to limit climate change by reducing greenhouse gases.

What's happening

What we're doing to prepare for climate change

In 2012, Council adopted the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy to ensure a vibrant, liveable, and resilient city in the face of climate change. 

The strategy was updated in 2018 to incorporate the most recent science, best practices, and new focus areas.

Read the updated Climate Change Adaption Strategy  (9 MB)

Read the 2020 progress report (4 MB)

How much do you know about sea level rise?

By City of Vancouver

Take our short quiz to test your knowledge.

  • Question one

    By City of Vancouver

    How many meters of sea level rise are we planning for by 2100?

  • Answer one

    By City of Vancouver

    We are planning for one meter of sea rise for 2100. The Province of BC provided this projection for local municipalities.

  • Question two

    By City of Vancouver

    Sea level rise is partially caused by the melting of land ice and ice sheets adding water to our oceans. What causes this phenomenon?

  • Answer two

    By City of Vancouver

    High levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere, leading to rising air temperatures and the melting of land ice.

  • Question three

    By City of Vancouver

    As the ocean creeps up due to sea level rise, the beach area exposed during low tide will shrink. What is this phenomenon called?

  • Answer three

    By City of Vancouver

    Coastal squeeze. This will result in the loss of habitat of birds, forage fish, mussels, and clams in Vancouver’s shoreline ecosystem.

  • Question four

    By City of Vancouver

    With one meter of sea level rise, how many square kilometres of land in the City of Vancouver will be in the flood plain?

  • Answer four

    By City of Vancouver

    13 square kilometers. This estimate is based on a projected sea level rise of one meter and without flood management interventions.

  • Question five

    By City of Vancouver

    Complete the sentence: The City of Vancouver has a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least __% by the year 2050 through our Renewable City Strategy.

  • Answer five

    By City of Vancouver

    80%. Reducing greenhouse gases will help reduce the amount of sea level rise we will have to adapt to. Learn about the Renewable City Strategy.

  • Question six

    By City of Vancouver

    In 2012, Vancouver City Council adopted which strategy to ensure Vancouver remains vibrant, liveable, and resilient in the face of climate change?

  • Answer six

    By City of Vancouver

    The Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. Because sea levels don’t respond instantly to warming, we are committed to a certain amount of continued sea level rise into the future. Learn more about the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.

  • Question seven

    By City of Vancouver

    What action(s) can you take reduce individual Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions?

  • Answer seven

    By City of Vancouver

    You can compost your food waste, eat more vegetarian meals, insulate your home and reduce energy leaks, and use transit, cycle, or walk more. These are a few ways that you can curb your emissions and help slow sea level rise.

Future changes to our climate and environment

By 2050, we are expecting hotter, drier summers, wetter falls and springs, and warmer winters. Extreme weather events will be more frequent and intense, and sea level rise is anticipated to be 1 meter by 2100.

Learn about local changes in climate  (1.58 MB)

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