1 Climate adaptation | West Coast Environmental Law

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Climate adaptation

Wading into the science on sea level rise – BC lags behind

18 May, 2017

If you’ve been following BC’s sea-level woes extra closely, you’ll know that planning for a sea-level increase of “1 metre by 2100” has become a kind of mantra for local governments and others responsible for planning and readying our communities. While a one metre increase in sea-level rise may seem substantial, we’re worried that the figure is out of date and ignores more recent science and the benefits of a precautionary, risk management approach.

 

Coastal cities like Vancouver are particularly vulnerable when it comes to sea level rise. (Photo: Scott Kirk)

Does Kenya’s Climate Change Act lead the way for climate lawsuits?

14 July, 2016

It might seem a bit odd for Environmental Law Alert (based in BC, Canada) to be reporting on developments in Kenyan environmental law, but Kenya’s new Climate Change Act, 2014, brought into force in May 2016, contains a provision that is worth talking about around the world – one which provides for lawsuits against greenhouse gas polluters.

It might seem a bit odd for Environmental Law Alert (based in BC, Canada) to be reporting on developments in Kenyan environmental law, but Kenya’s new Climate Change Act, 2014, brought into force in May 2016, contains a provision that is worth talking about around the world – one which provides for lawsuits against greenhouse gas polluters.

Should water managers put their head in the sand about climate change, or not?

11 October, 2013

Recently West Coast Staff Lawyer, Deborah Carlson, spoke to the Climate Change Committee of the BC Water and Waste Association (BCWWA) about whether local governments and professionals dealing with water management more or less likely to be sued if they seriously examine for climate impacts. The answer should be obvious, but we're hearing this question more and more.  Our view is that responsible governments – governments that inform themselves about the best available climate science and the likely impacts on their communities – are less, rather than more likely, to be successfully sued.

Recently the BC Water and Waste Association (BCWWA) posted a video of a short talk that West Coast Staff Lawyer, Deborah Carlson, gave last June to their Climate Change Committee.  The talk, which is intended to be a first video resource for the planners and engineers that are members of the BCWWA, looked at the question: are local governments and professionals dealing with water management more likely to be sued if they seriously examine for climate impacts?&nb

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