Later this week we’ll see young people, and the not so young, on the streets the length and breadth of the country making their voices heard. Not only that, Glasgow has now been confirmed as host city for COP26 in 2020 and the Scottish Government’s recent programme for Government kicked off with climate change promises. Climate change is clearly a political constant, but the strikes tell us that people are still feeling let down.

“Our house is on fire — let’s act like it. We demand climate justice for everyone”.

So says the Climate Strike website. It’s very true that bold action is required from leaders around the world, and that we as individuals have a responsibility to hold those leaders to account. Climate change is already locked in, and if we want to stop this process then we do need to urgently address many of the things we take for granted: how we travel, what we buy and what we eat. Political leadership on this is welcome, and each one of us has important decisions to make.

We support the climate strike and its aim to keep climate change as the #1 priority issue on political and corporate agendas. We would add that adaptation to climate change must work hand in hand with mitigation measures – there’s no point in returning to business as usual.

As Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience released this week by the Global Centre on Adaptation states:

“investing in adaptation, and in the innovation that comes with it, can unlock new opportunities and spur change across the globe. Adaptation can provide a triple dividend: it avoids economic losses, brings positive gains, and delivers additional social and environmental benefits.”

Political will is so often swayed by unbendable economic pragmatism, but the GCA report provided some startling statistics around return on investment. Spend 1.8tn globally in next ten years, to yield £7.1tn in benefits. With the usual ROI being 1:3, these figures are difficult to ignore.

The opportunity is there to rebuild in a way that is sustainable and resolves chronic issues such as poverty and the health divide. When we talk about adaptation, it is of course in the prism of climate change, but it also pulls in so many other things that matter to our health and wellbeing and the future of our societies.

This is how we view adaptation and this is why we are so passionate about it. It’s a revolution, not a retrofit.

We work on adaptation at a national level and a more local level through delivering the Adaptation Scotland programme for the Scottish Government and the Climate Ready Clyde programme where we take adaptation to a city region level. Our approach is to get people working together with a shared purpose to solve the problems caused or made worse by climate change. We also provide in-depth and bespoke insight and analysis to support organisations in their decision making towards being climate-ready.

If you would like to know more about our vital work in helping Scotland become a more sustainable and resilient nation, sign up to our e-newsletter, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Links to our programmes