Five steps to managing your climate risks
New guidance from Adaptation Scotland for public bodies to manage the risks a changing climate poses to their services.
With the draft Scottish Adaptation Programme being debated in Parliament there is no better time for public bodies to start assessing and managing their climate risks.
Severe weather is affecting services provided by public bodies across Scotland. And the impacts we see today are likely to occur more frequently and with more serious consequences in future - compounding many of the other long-term challenges we face such as rising energy prices, resource scarcity, an ageing population, and social and economic inequalities. Flooding, for instance, costs the Scottish economy over £700m per year in damages (National Flood Risk Assessment, 2011).
Using Adaptation Scotland’s new guidance “Five steps to managing your climate risks” will support compliance with this duty. The guidance asks public bodies to consider how climate change could help or hinder existing corporate strategies and visions using two questions:
- How might core services be affected by severe weather and climate change? Users identify which of their organisation’s core services such as housing maintenance, school transport, refuse collection and services for older people are already – and could continue to be – affected by severe weather and climate change.
- How can we increase resilience, enhance efficiency, add value and save money? Users then identify actions that are needed to protect these services now and in the future.
Minister for Environment and Climate Change Paul Wheelhouse said: “Local authorities and other public bodies, businesses, voluntary organisations and communities will be central in helping Scotland to build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Clear advice and guidance is essential in supporting sectors right across society to better understand their role in addressing climate change and adapting to it."
"This new guidance will aid the wider public sector in complying with the Climate Change Public Bodies Duties and helping to deliver the forthcoming Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme, to ensure Scotland remains resilient in the face of the challenge.”