Impacts of climate change

Car with exhaust next to cloud and sun.

Climate change can impact us suddenly, like it did in the summer of 2021.

An extreme heat event caused temperatures upward of 45°C in parts of the province. More than 600 people died as a result.

The heat event led into a wildfire season so severe that we were in a state of emergency for two months. Then, in the fall of 2021, an extreme rainfall event led to floods and landslides that cut southwestern B.C. off from the rest of Canada.

These events took lives and destroyed homes, roads and communities.

Climate change can impact us in other, less noticeable ways too. Our summers are getting drier and hotter. Our winters are getting warmer and wetter. These changes can be gradual enough that we don’t notice right away. But they can have big and long-lasting effects.

Hazy orange sunset over buildings and trees.

Climate emergencies and B.C.

Explore how climate change is impacting our way of life now and into the future.

Two workers stand by a river and run tests.

Adapting to a changing climate

Climate actions working for you

Person stands in from of a building with installed heat pumps.

Hartley Bay heats up (and cools down) with energy saving heat pumps

100% of the people in Hartley Bay, a Gitga’at community on the north coast, now have energy efficient heat pumps in their homes – keeping them cool in the summer and warm in the winter, all while lowering their heating bills and shrinking the community’s carbon footprint. Heat pumps also provide air filtration, reducing risks from wildfire smoke during summer months.

The switch to heat pumps was supported by the CleanBC Indigenous Community Heat Pump Incentive, which helps make clean choices for residential and community buildings affordable and accessible.

A highway bridge being constructed.

Rebuilding roads and infrastructure

Atmospheric rivers are streams of water vapour that travel through the sky. When they cross over land, they turn into rain or snow — about a month’s worth in a few days. The bigger and more intense an atmospheric river is, the more likely it will cause floods.  

In 2021, two back-to-back atmospheric rivers hit B.C., causing flooding and landslides. It destroyed homes and highways, and cut off B.C. from itself.  

Teams of dedicated B.C. road workers have already repaired many of the highways we depend on. Workers continue to rebuild and prepare for future weather events. 

Government accountability

Strong laws and sharing measurable outcomes of our work are key to protecting our environment. By putting our plans and actions into law, we are making a commitment to British Columbians. 

Emergency Program Act

The Emergency Program Act explains government’s responsibilities during emergencies. It is currently being modernized.  

Emergency Program Management Regulation 

The regulation explains what provincial ministers and government corporations like BC Hydro must do to prepare for and respond to emergencies.

Communication workers in an emergency command centre.

Compensation and Disaster Financial Assistance Regulation  

The regulation lays out how people can be compensated for property that gets damaged or lost during a disaster. 

Two workers repairing a room that was damaged in a disaster.

Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation

The regulation lays out emergency management roles and responsibilities. It also explains what municipalities must do to plan for emergencies and keep their communities safe. 

Fire trucks in position to put out a fire.

Wildfire Act 

Everyone in B.C. has a role to play in reducing the risk of wildfires. The Wildfire Act explains government’s duties. It sets the rules for using fire and managing wildfires in B.C. 

Wildfire Regulation

The Wildfire Regulation explains how we put our wildfire-related laws into place. 

Wildfire fighter and truck on the side of the highway with a wildfire burning in the background.