Understanding and Assessing Impacts
The Climate Action Committee along with Fraser Health Authority and the staff climate action working group undertook a climate change risk and vulnerability assessment in two separate workshops. The methodology used to complete the assessments borrowed from several existing, well-used adaptation planning processes including ICLEI’s (Local Governments for Sustainability) 5-milestone process. It also mirrors the International Standards Organization (ISO) risk management standard and the recently released Provincial framework for climate risk assessment. Actions to prepare for or reduce the risk of the impact were focused first on high-risk areas and then to medium and lower risk areas. Increasing health impacts (physical and mental) was identified as one of the areas of greatest risk to Port Moody. For example, the BC Climate Risk Assessment puts human health impacts from heat in the top five risks to the province. There were 22 days of air quality advisories in the Lower Mainland in 2018, the most on record. Research by the BC Centre for Disease Control also found that visits to the doctor with asthma or respiratory complaints spiked during the poor air quality days in the Lower Mainland. Repeated extreme events puts pressure on our medical systems, and the mental health of both those impacted and those responding. Often community members are not all impacted to the same extent by climate change. Marginalized groups may be disproportionately impacted by climate change and have lower resources to support preparedness and adapting. Climate change projections show that as the climate changes, Port Moody can expect hotter, drier summers; warmer winters with more rain from fall to spring; an increase in frequency and intensity of precipitation; and sea level rise. These changes may lead to increased wildfires, more days with poor air quality and haze, an increased risk to vulnerable populations.