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City Region pledges new action in light of report from Climate Ready Clyde

26 November 2018

City Region in the news as new report on climate change risks facing Glasgw published by Climate Ready Clyde

Climate Ready Clyde presented the findings of a forthcoming report on climate change risks facing Glasgow City Region, and set out recommendations needed through to 2025 to build the city region’s long term resilience to climate change. Over 70 of Glasgow City Region’s leaders and decision makers came together in Glasgow last month, to kick off the process of developing an Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan for Glasgow City Region, due in 2020.

Over the last year, Climate Ready Clyde has worked with stakeholders across Glasgow City Region to assess the risks and opportunities posed by climate change. In parallel, they have also assessed the economic implications, which shows that which shows that there are considerable risks but also significant economic development opportunities for the region. By the 2050s, both the risks to the city region are ~1% of GVA (or £400m a year). The benefits are estimated to be of a similar order, but distributed differently. However, these figures do not include costs from more frequent and severe one-off extreme weather events projected as part of a changing climate, which will likely be much more significant.

Some of the key areas for further action in the next five years highlighted include developing plans to climate proof key rail and road infrastructure along the Clyde from storms, heat and coastal erosion, supporting businesses to adapt, and developing new finance options to accelerate action and offset the impact of exiting the European Union.

This ground-breaking assessment of climate impact builds on leading edge research from a wide range of organisations including the UK Committee on Climate Change’s Adaptation Sub-committee, Historic Environment Scotland, SNH, SEPA, Scottish Water, and ClimateXChange.

Speaking on the release, Climate Ready Clyde’s Chair, James Curran, said

It’s fantastic to be bringing stakeholders together to discuss how we ensure Glasgow City Region not just adapts, but prospers in the face of climate change. 
The U.N. climate change programme shows that, despite cutting our carbon emissions deeply and quickly, a certain amount of climate change is now unavoidable – and so we need to prepare. Our assessment shows where we need new activity and to focus our ambitions in a new Strategy and Action Plan.”

The work was welcomed by the public and private sector. Mari Tunby, Deputy Director for CBI Scotland said:

Investors and shareholders are increasingly aware of the need to ensure climate risks are properly addressed as part of their business.
 Disclosing risks and building climate resilience across the Glasgow City Region and Scotland helps businesses understand their exposure and builds investor confidence”.

Her comments were echoed by Gerry Cornes, Chief Executive of East Dunbartonshire Council, and Chair of Glasgow City Region’s Land Use and Sustainability Portfolio. He said: “Adapting to climate change will alleviate future costs to public services and reduce overall pressures. Doing so ensures not only that the city region remains a great place to live, but is a great place for businesses to invest – delivering sustainable and inclusive economic growth for the region”.

The work comes hot on the heels of a flurry of activity which has accelerated U.K. and global preparedness to the impacts of climate change. These include consultations by the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority to ensure the impacts of climate change are considered at board level by all banks and insurers, and a new Global Commission on Adaptation designed to accelerate action. This Commission has prominent members including former U.N. Secretary General, Ban-Ki Moon and Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates.

Climate Ready Clyde is a cross-sector initiative funded by the Scottish Government and 12 member organisations to create a shared vision, strategy and action plan for an adapting Glasgow City Region.

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