In many regions climate change may increase the frequency or severity of natural disturbances such as severe weather events, droughts, flooding and forest fires. Prince George experienced the consequences of the spread of the Mountain Pine Beetle from 2000 through 2006, which was attributed to warmer winter minimum temperatures over the previous two decades. The vast areas of dead pine trees throughout the central interior of BC and within the city led to increased forest fire risk, tree death in parks and residential areas, and the expectation of future loss of forestry-related employment for many Prince George residents. Hazard mitigation activities began with the removal of infected and dead pine trees throughout the city. Forest fire scenario and management planning and land use planning also reduced exposure to forest fire hazards.
Prince George suffered severe ice-related flooding in the winter of 2007-2008 that caused extensive damage to areas along the Nechako River. A few months earlier, during the spring freshet of 2007, extensive erosion occurred along the Nechako River just upstream of Prince George. This caused some residents to relocate their homes away from the riverbank due to the highest flows ever recorded on the Nechako. After the flooding events, the City retained consultants to investigate flood risk, identify areas vulnerable to river flooding, develop flood control solutions and determine if climate change impacts could affect flooding frequency and flood levels in Prince George.
Prior to the flooding events in 2007, the City and UNBC researchers had began studying and planning for the impacts of climate change in the region. Between 2008-2010 their activities included: assessing climate change scenarios for the region; identifying potential climate change impacts and options for adaptation; and exploring options for incorporating climate change adaptation into the City’s planning processes. Options for incorporating adaptation into plans included the Smart Growth on the Ground downtown revitalization strategy, the Official Community Plan (OCP) and the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan, entitled myPG.
More infomation on climate change can be found under the "Climate Change Mitigation" tab and the "Climate Change Adaptation" tab. Mitigation describes strategies that reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) and the "carbon footprint" of the City operations and the community. Adaptation describes strategies that address the impacts or effects of climate change such as flooding, wildfires and damage to roads.