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Climate Adaptation Strategy

Sunset in Surrey.

The release of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the resulting climate change impacts have consequences for our economies, our ecosystems and our social well-being.

Mitigation, or efforts to reduce GHG emissions, is critical to limit the extent of climate change we have to deal with in the years to come.

However, the persistence of GHGs in the atmosphere means we will experience and must adapt, or prepare for, some climate change impacts regardless of how successfully global efforts reduce GHG emissions over the coming decades.

Watch this video and learn about our award-winning climate plans.

Climate changes projected for Surrey

Climate change is global. But, the local impacts in different regions of the world vary widely. Climate changes projected for Surrey over the long term include:

  • Sea level rise and associated erosion, flooding and disturbance of natural and built environments;
  • Hotter, drier summers with more high temperature events and droughts impacting human health, ecosystems, water security and agriculture;
  • Increased frequency and intensity of rain and wind events causing flooding and disturbance of natural and built environments;
  • Increased risk of forest fire, adversely impacting local air quality, human safety and the built environment; and
  • Local implications from disruptions in other parts of the world such as rising prices and periodic constraints in agricultural production.

Surrey's Climate Adaptation Strategy

Surrey has developed a Climate Adaptation Strategy to ensure our long-term resilience and prepare for climate change impacts.

The Adaptation Strategy builds on existing policies and initiatives and will help the City anticipate and respond to changes in the following areas:

  • Flood management and drainage;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Ecosystems and natural areas;
  • Urban trees and landscaping;
  • Human health and safety; and,
  • Agriculture and food security.

The Climate Adaptation Strategy is part of Surrey's Community Climate Action Strategy (CCAS). The CCAS is comprised of 2 complementary plans:

Together, these 2 plans reinforce the City’s broader efforts toward establishing Surrey as a prosperous and resilient 21st century urban centre.

Full documents and sections can be found here:

The City of Surrey is a global leader on climate action, and has joined the Compact of Mayors, the world's largest coalition of city leaders addressing climate change by pledging to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, tracking their progress and preparing for the impacts of climate change.

Tips for Making Your Home More Resilient

There are lots of ways you can make your home and your community more resilient to climate change:

Strategy Development Process

Surrey's Adaptation Strategy was developed through ICLEI Canada's Building Adaptive and Resilient Communities Program. The strategy was developed using a 5-milestone process:

ICLEI's 5 Milestone Planning Framework

Milestone 1, Initiate: Surrey kicked of the planning process with a report to Council and the development of a staff Advisory Team.

Milestone 2, Research: Research was undertaken to better understand how changing temperatures, rainfall and sea level rise would affect Surrey, and a risk assessment was completed.

Milestone 3, Plan: Staff from across the City were involved in developing actions to increase resilience, and stakeholders from key sectors were engaged for feedback. The final strategy was approved by Council in November, 2013.

Milestone 4 + 5, Implement and Monitor: The City will prioritize the "immediate implementation" actions and provide regular progress reports.