January 27, 2020
Worldwide the frequency and scale of climate-related disasters have grown, alongside the economic damage they cause. When the future impacts of climate change have yet to be fully revealed, how can investors make an informed decision, assess potential climate-related risks and protect new foreign operations?
Climate resilience generally describes the ability to assess, anticipate, prepare for, minimize and recover from disasters. Governments play an important role in resilience planning.
British Columbia is the first Canadian province to officially adopt the United Nations’ Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. This internationally-acknowledged approach to emergency management and disaster risk reduction is now followed in 187 countries worldwide.
The Sendai Framework emphasizes the importance of a proactive approach to climate-related risk reduction by strengthening disaster preparedness in anticipation of events and ensuring capacities are in place for an effective response. The framework provides for the recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction phases as opportunities to “build back better” in order to reduce future risk.
British Columbia’s voluntary implementation of the United Nation’s Sendai Framework involves modernizing the province’s Emergency Program Act. The legislation will be updated to incorporate leading emergency management practices and reflect the principles of the Sendai Framework to help facilitate recovery from the financial, economic and psycho-social impacts of disasters. The Framework accomplishes this by providing guidance around assessing and mitigating risks, planning and preparing for any emergency.
The Framework advocates an all-of-society approach to emergency management. It recognizes that the Government of British Columbia has a primary role in reducing disaster risk, but that this responsibility should be shared with local government, private sector and other stakeholders. In 2019 the B.C. government began gathering input from emergency management practitioners, local governments, First Nations, businesses and non-profit groups to help shape legislative changes and formally align B.C.’s new emergency management legislation with the international best practises proposed by the framework. The modernized legislation is targeted for introduction in the Legislative Assembly in fall 2020.
While managing climate change-related risk, B.C. is also taking bold steps to combat the climate crisis. Through the CleanBC plan, British Columbia has created a pathway to reduce climate pollution and achieve climate goals while creating opportunity for economic growth.
British Columbia is home to some of the world’s leading applications of clean technology and the sector is outpacing most other sectors in terms of growth. B.C. manufacturers are at the forefront of clean technology manufacturing, a growing industry with major environmental and economic potential. Furthermore, B.C.’s post-secondary institutions are focused on preparing industry-ready graduates to contribute to Canadian made, globally competitive clean technologies and sustainable manufacturing solutions. B.C.’s transportation sector is also embracing this change. Read our blog, How British Columbia’s Green Transportation Innovations Boosts Business to see how B.C.’s transportation sector is creating new opportunities for innovation, investment and growth in the low-carbon economy.
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