Climate change poses challenges for BC’s industries and natural resource sector, including the mining and energy sectors. In both industries, extreme climate events impact the maintenance and operations of infrastructure, affecting the ability to protect staff safety, maintain production and continue service delivery.
Extreme weather events such as heavy precipitation, flood, fire or drought can trigger changes in soil or slope stability. This can pose risks at both open and closed mines: for the integrity of buildings, water retention structures and tailing ponds, site access, worker safety and transportation networks. Changes in hydrology may also diminish water supply in summer months.
For the energy sector, extraction of natural gas is dependent on a number of climate-sensitive resources and infrastructure, such as water, pipelines, drilling pads and roads. Key climate impacts for this sector include water supply for extraction as well as the impact of floods, landslides and forest fires on development sites and transportation routes. Energy utilities are also greatly impacted by extreme climate events, which damages infrastructure and inhibits the delivery of essential services.
There is growing recognition in the mining and energy sectors of the need to access the best climate change trends available by region, evaluate the risks, and weigh adaptation options. The BC Regional Adaptation Collaborative has worked with mining and energy sector players to develop resources and case studies to share climate information, profile success stories, and support adaptation action.