Adaptation to climate change

WRITTEN BY Local Partnerships
POSTED ON 28th January 2021

Local authorities need to plan for the inevitable consequences of a changing climate. Of those that responded to the survey, 88% indicated they are working on a strategy or action plan in relation to adaptation to climate change.

Adaptation is a process of on-going adjustments in response to climate and non-climate drivers. As such adaptation actions plans cut across and link to all departments within a local authority and must not be isolated to one area. This is clear from the varying responses received to the survey question “how does climate adaptation fit into existing roles within your organisation?” A holistic approach to adaption plans must be embedded within a local authority.

Current levels of readiness in response to specific areas are shown in the graph below:

Adaptation graph

This shows that for most of the areas defined above, local authorities are in the “assessing risk” stage and many are yet to get to implementing measures. Local Partnerships endeavours to support local authorities in their efforts to move from assessing risk, through to developing strategy and action plans, such that measures can be implemented. Working with UKCIP, the aim is to develop the existing tools and resources available to local authorities such that adaptation plans can be created and accelerated.

The most significant areas of concern identified in this survey include the effects of extreme weather, such as flooding and overheating. However, other concerns raised relate to lack of recognition, generating buy-in, and the absence of resources available to support delivery.

Respondents indicated they would like to see adaptation tools that are simple to use with access to a best practice framework and knowledge sharing forum.

Thank you to all who contributed to the above findings. Do you agree? We are keen to hear from more local authorities, even if adaptation plans are not on your radar yet. Please complete this short survey to ensure we create the most useful tools and resources for you.

⬆️ Strategic Director Martin Forbes writes for the MJ about levelling up and how to negotiate the challenges ahead. Join members of our bid review team for a webinar on 13 December to look at these issues further. Register here:

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