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
‘Policy makers like to talk about helping nature and its benefits but reality can be different’ – especially for those managing tight budgets. Those of us involved in policy do sometimes get a bit carried away with exciting new things and forget the realities, so it was a good reality check at the beginning of one of the Natural Environment Parallel Sessions at the recent Scotland’s Adaptation Conference.
The aim of the two sessions on the day was to inspire and to show that the natural environment not only needs and deserves our support in the face of a changing climate but can be an asset when it comes to adaptation rather than a burden. However, it was clear from participants that despite it being appreciated, nature is not always seen as an important asset. ‘We don’t always make a persuasive argument’ regarding the benefits or ‘the economic case’. Continue reading
Within Sniffer we often say that no one organisation, business or community will be able to build resilience and adapt to climate change on its own. We need others and others need us.
The same is true for the Adaptation Scotland programme. We’re a small team and our effectiveness in supporting a Climate Ready Scotland depends upon others sharing our messages and working with us to carry them forward within different organisations, sectors and communities. In my experience our most impactful work has come about as a result of working with people who have grasped the significance of adapting to climate change and been a driving force for change within their own spheres of influence.
This is particularly true of our work in supporting climate ready communities. Last Wednesday (7th August) we ran a workshop with organisations and individuals from across Scotland who are at the forefront of pioneering early work to support communities to adapt to climate change. We were also joined by others who are new to the challenges of adapting to climate change but wanting to get involved and help move this area of work forwards.
Adaptation Scotland’s presentation on our engagement with communities.
Preparing for the workshop was a good opportunity to reflect on the progress that we’ve made over the last couple of years in supporting climate ready communities. This includes work to develop a programme of workshops to support community adaptation planning, consultation workshops with vulnerable individuals and support groups and, the early development of the Are You Ready? resource. Take a look at our Prezi presentation for a full overview of all the work that has been undertaken.
Accessing relevant climate information has always been a challenge – for a start there is so much of it out there! But a bigger problem is that it has been static in nature – and to explore a range of climate variables it is necessary to look through a book of outputs (e.g. like the still widely used Sniffer Handbook of Climate Trends).
Recent years have seen rapid advances in data visualisation tools – and these are often geared up for the internet, even allowing embedding within existing websites and documents. Alongside this the design options have come along in leaps and bounds – and it is now possible to create attractive and effective data visualisation with relative ease. The Guardian: Data Blog has a collection that is quite inspiring.
So what does this have to do with Adaptation Scotland and climate change? Well today we’ve released our first tool using Tableau Public – a tool for “Climate Trends for Scotland”. This uses data from the Met Office National Climate Information Centre to show Scottish climate trends over the last century – for a range of variables, regions, and averaging periods. Users of this tool can download images and interact with the underlying data (although we still recommend you go to the source if you want the data!). Usefully, Tableau Public allows anyone to embed a live version of this tool in their own website – and you are free to customise it if you want. Continue reading