Skip navigation

Climate Adaptation Strategy

The release of greenhouse gas emissions is causing the global climate to change. The resulting impacts have consequences for our economies, our ecosystems and our social well-being.

See how Surrey is taking several steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help do our part to limit the impacts of global climate change.

Climate Adaptation Strategy

The Climate Adaptation Strategy is part of Surrey's Community Climate Action Strategy. It identifies how the City may be vulnerable to climate change impacts and proposes actions to mitigate the risks and costs of such impacts.

The Climate 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
  • Agriculture and food security

Climate Changes Projected for Surrey

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.

Check out the detailed report on climate projections for Metro Vancouver.

Adapting to Climate Change in Surrey

As part of the Climate Adaptation Strategy, Surrey has taken steps to create a more resilient community in the face of climate change. Some highlights include:

  • Undertaking extensive research to model the timing and extent of changing flood hazard in our coastal areas. This research is informing the Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy, a three-year project to engage residents and stakeholders in determining the best solutions for adapting to sea level rise and flood risk in Surrey's coastal floodplain area.
  • The Shade Tree Management Plan outlines how our urban forest will remain resilient by increasing species diversity, choosing species and planting stock for future climates, and providing more favourable growth conditions.

Climate Adaptation Strategy Background

Surrey's Climate Adaptation Strategy was developed through ICLEI Canada's Building Adaptive and Resilient Communities Program. Surrey kicked of the planning process with a report to Council and the development of a staff Advisory Team.

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

Learn more about Surrey's sustainability efforts by reviewing the Community Energy and Emissions Plan – the second component of the Community Climate Action Strategy and our guide to reducing community energy spending and greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information on our plans for more sustainable communities, see our Sustainability Charter.