Adapting to the impacts of climate change
The Climate Change Strategy for Wales recognises that, despite efforts to reduce GHG emissions, it is not possible to entirely avoid the impacts of climate change because of past and present emissions.
Welsh Government’s Climate Change Strategy outlines an adaptation framework for how Wales can prepare and adapt to the likely future impacts which include flooding, severe weather events and sea level rise. We also need to look at potential opportunities – making organisations and individuals more resilient to the changes to come.
The Adaptation sub-group is chaired by Jim Poole of Natural Resources Wales. As well as promoting adaptation issues in Wales, we are working with Welsh Government to develop Sectoral Adaptation plans (SAPs). The Natural Environment SAP is being develop and will be published shortly.
In 2015 the sub-group arranged 3 events to focus on Sectoral Adaptation Plans for
1. Business & Tourism – 18 May 2015
2. Communities – 13 July 2015
3. Infrastructure – 9 October 2015
Details about all 3 events, along with the findings, can be found below:
SUMMARIES FROM ALL THREE EVENTS:
SUMMARIES FROM ALL THREE EVENTS (COMBINED):
Along with how these headline messages were pulled together:
INFRASTRUCTURE SECTORAL ADAPTATION PLAN: WORKSHOP – 9 October 2015
Businesses and communities across Wales are already experiencing and counting the costs of severe weather events and the impacts of a changing climate. Across the UK the total economic damage caused by the 2012 floods alone has been estimated as high as £620 million.
The Climate Change Commission for Wales (CCCW), Constructing Excellence Wales (CEW) and Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) organised a workshop of direct relevance to organisations working in the infrastructure sector, aimed at senior managers and practitioners alike.
The aim of the event was to help people understand:
- How current severe weather and future climate change will impact the infrastructure sector
- How to identify the risks and opportunities facing the sector
- What sources of help and information are available and how to access them.
- Actions you can take to improve the resilience of your sector to severe weather and climate change impacts – in terms of both keeping your existing systems working, and designing new assets and systems.
Over 40 people attended and contributed to discussions throughout the day.
Agenda – 9 October 2015
Impact of climate change on infrastructure in Wales – Geoff Ogden, Atkins
UK Infrastructure Operators Adaptation Forum – John Dora, Chair
RainScape – Andrew Harris, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water
Asset Management of Coastal Structures – Kevin Giles, Network Rail
Infrastructure Report card developed by LWEC (Living with Environmental Change):
COMMUNITIES SECTORAL ADAPTATION PLAN: WORKSHOP – 13 July 2015
Over 30 delegates, from a wide range of organisations, attended the workshop to discuss an Adaptation Plan for the Communities.
Impact on Communities – Jim Poole, Natural Resources Wales
Climate Adaptation & local authorities – Dr Alan Netherwood, Netherwood Sustainable Futures
Strong Roots 2 summary – Rhodri Thomas, Cynnal Cymru
Climate Ready Presentation – Jim Hodgson, Climate Ready
Under the Weather report: http://www.sduhealth.org.uk/areas-of-focus/community-resilience/community-resilience-copy.aspx
BUSINESS & TOURISM SECTORAL ADAPTATION PLAN: SUMMARY OF WORKSHOP – 18 May 2015
On 18 May 2015 the Climate Change Commission for Wales organised a workshop to feed into an Adaptation Plan for the Business and Tourism Sector in Wales. The event attracted 21 participants from a wide range of backgrounds, including international companies, small Welsh businesses, business support agencies and regulators.
The IEMA Guidance on building the business case for climate change adaptation can be downloaded from: http://www.iema.net/readingroom/articles/cca-business-case-guidance
Key messages from the event included:
- We need to adapt to current weather extremes as well as future climate change.
- Adapting to climate change should be mainstreamed within existing business processes. It provides opportunities for business development, as well as posing risks to existing business operations.
- Climate change is not the only change in town, but needs to be seen alongside other trends such as social and demographic change and the increasing pace of technological breakthroughs.
- Adapting to climate change is a collective challenge. There are many interdependencies between different businesses and the communities within which they operate. We need to avoid short-termism and share the risks.
- We need to develop the network of individuals working across businesses and other sectors to increase capacity in this area within Wales. There is much potential for sharing tools and experiences.
- There needs to be cross-ministerial support within Welsh Government for this agenda. The new Wellbeing of Future Generations Act was seen as crucial in providing a framework for this.