Audit says B.C. lacks a climate change plan, likely won’t meet 2020 emissions reduction target

Audit says B.C. lacks a climate change plan, likely won't meet 2020 emissions reduction target

File photo.

File photo.

An audit of the province’s management of climate change says the government hasn’t properly assessed the risks the province faces and have big challenges dealing with floods and wildfires.

The report says the province has done work to adapt to climate change but doesn’t have a plan to move forward.

Auditor General Carol Bellringer says B.C. will likely not meet its 2020 emissions target.

In response, Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister George Heyman says the province agrees the target won’t be hit and has introduced a legislated goal to reduce carbon emissions by 40 per cent compared to 2007 levels.

The audit says significant challenges face the government for floods, wildfires and drought.

The report says flood risks may not be managed well because of a lack of staffing and technical capacity, outdated flood-plain maps and responsibilities spread out across agencies.

It adds the government’s wildfire prevention activities are not sufficient and have not significantly reduced the risk.

Heyman said his ministry accepts the 17 recommendations in the report and will work to ensure they are achieved.

Heyman added a clean-growth strategy will be brought forward to invest in transit, clean technology and energy efficiency.

Bellringer says climate change requires mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to reduce harm from climate change.

Andy NealAndy Neal

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