Author Archives: Karen Miller

Adaptation Scotland…a student’s perspective

Our latest blog has been written by Elspeth Dundas who spent time working with Sniffer during the summer. Our thanks to Elspeth for her enthusiasm and interest in the work of Sniffer, in particular the Adaptation Scotland Programme. All the best for your final year of studies, Elspeth…we’re looking forward to some new adaptation research!

During the summer break from my studies at the University of Edinburgh I was fortunate enough to spend time with the Adaptation Scotland team, allowing me to understand the initiative’s role in preparing Scotland for the effects of climate change. As well as talking to each member of staff and learning about their individual roles and experiences, I was also included in several aspects of the ongoing work. Attending the first Adaptation Learning Exchange (ALE) workshop opened my eyes to the problems that are encountered by people trying to implement climate adaptation measures in the working environment. I found this particularly interesting as in a university setting the effects of climate change are treated as a considerable threat and are rarely disputed, whereas in a business setting the long-term nature of the effects of climate change makes the issue much easier to overlook. Continue reading

Managing climate risks – where do I begin?

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At an event in London on 15th October, speakers from BusinessGreen and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reinforced the message that while many businesses have thought about their future climate risks, only a small proportion has implemented any arrangements to manage them. This is hardly surprising given competing strategic priorities, limited time and money, and a lack of understanding of the need to do anything.

So what can organisations do for starters? Speaking at the event, Munish Datta (Head of Property for Plan A, Marks and Spencer) and John Mackenzie (UK Gas Transmission Asset Engineering Manager, National Grid) asserted the fundamental need for organisations to embed climate change adaptation on their corporate risk register, look at future climate threats and opportunities, put in place plans to manage their priority risks and integrate these with their business model or corporate strategies. Continue reading

Local authorities join forces to plan for climate change…with a little help from Adaptation Scotland!

Thanks to Jim Fraser, Emergency Planning Officer at Scottish Borders Council, for his guest blog on Adaptation Scotland’s new local authority climate risk support group:

Like most other local authorities or organisations, we are all very busy and when it comes to the issue of climate change adaptation. It’s in people’s minds but it may have been put into the ‘too difficult to do box’ for the time being.

As someone who has to deal regularly with the outcome of extreme weather and climate change and can see the damage caused and the cost of the response, the time to address climate change risks is now Continue reading

Lessons from London – Launch of Climate Service UK

This week the Met Office launched “Climate Service UK”, an initiative providing climate information to help users manage exposure to climate variability and change. On Monday morning I boarded the 05:40 train to London to attend the launch event. With a keynote address from Rt Hon Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, it was no surprise the event (held at the Institute of Physics) attracted the attention of the media; I was sitting a few seats along from Newsnight’s Science Editor Susan Watts.

The programme was packed with expert speakers, and I want to briefly reflect on some of their key messages. Firstly, because they are relevant to anyone working on adaptation whether in research or practice; and secondly, because Adaptation Scotland is already putting these in practice (there’s nothing wrong with self-promotion!) Continue reading