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Mitigation & Adaptation
The Dual Challenge
BC’s community leaders — together with leaders in the public and private sectors — can tackle climate change in two important ways: through mitigation and adaptation.
Climate Change Mitigation
Mitigation is focused on actions that slow the rate of climate change — by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., cleaner energy, use of transit over cars) or increasing absorption of these gases (e.g., preserving or planting trees).
Most BC local governments have signed the BC Climate Action Charter. They have committed to carbon neutrality in their corporate operations, monitoring and reporting on community greenhouse gas emissions, and creating compact, energy-efficient communities.
Climate Change Adaptation
Adaptation is focused on actions that minimize the negative impacts of climate change (e.g., preparing for flood or water scarcity) or take advantage of potential opportunities (e.g., planting crops earlier).
The Earth’s atmosphere will continue to warm for a century or more from existing greenhouse gases, even if future emissions are reduced. There are consequences for natural systems on which people rely. Adaptation measures are therefore critical to the resilience of BC communities.
Stay on the Retooling site to find climate change adaptation guidebooks, reports, videos, decision-support tools and community profiles.
Visit the BC Climate Action Toolkit for a full range of resources on climate change mitigation.
Ideally, mitigation and adaptation plans should be complementary. Some targeted actions may advance both. Explore ties between mitigation and adaptation in The Adaptation-Mitigation Connection: Milestones, Synergies and Contradictions, from ICLEI USA.