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Local climate change adaptation responses and social justice Jean Welstead 13/9/12.

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Presentation on theme: "Local climate change adaptation responses and social justice Jean Welstead 13/9/12."— Presentation transcript:

1 Local climate change adaptation responses and social justice Jean Welstead 13/9/12

2 Introduction Understanding social justice in climate change Relevance of climate adaptation to local authorities and organisations Roles and responsibilities Key messages from research ‘Socially Just Adaptation to Climate Change’ Recommendations

3 Understanding social justice in climate change Defra definition ‘Adaptation means changing our behaviour to respond to both the projected and current impacts of climate change’ Building adaptive capacity – framework for action Delivering adaptive actions – reduce vulnerability, exploit opportunities Ensuring socially just adaptation requires: –Understanding of which groups are most vulnerable to climate change impacts –Appropriate adaptation to ensure that their needs are met

4 Social justice issues Adaptation planning can aggravate inequalities Social issues related to adaptation are diverse & contextually specific Importance of addressing both procedural & distributive justice –Procedural – empowering communities to become involved in decision-making –Distributive – distribution of income, assets & opportunities

5 Relevance of climate adaptation to local authorities and organisations UK Government Stern Review, 2006 Climate Change Act, 2008 UK Climate Change Risk Assessment, 2012 Forthcoming National Adaptation Programmes(s), 2013 Country- specific England – NPPF, Localism Northern Ireland – research undertaken by SNIFFER Scotland – Climate Change Adaptation Framework, 2009 Wales – Climate Change Strategy & Adaptation Plan, 2010 Other agencies Environment Agency, SEPA, NIEA, Single Body (Wales) - flood risk management NHS/public health bodies – Heatwave plans

6 Policy drivers UK Government priority– activity to be driven locally –But public sector funding cuts Not just a local authority responsibility –Environment Agency, SEPA, NIEA, Single Body –NHS/Public Health bodies –Transport providers & private sector –Housing associations & third sector Most policies refer to social justice implications but... –focus on spatial vulnerability & health –Social vulnerability generally not taken into account –Procedural justice not investigated

7 Scotland’s adaptation commitments Scottish Ministers must lay programme before parliament and report annually on progress and independent scrutiny Public bodies are required to exercise their functions in a way that helps deliver the programme (evidence base, skills and tools, integration) Sustainable land use strategy

8 Socially Just Adaptation to Climate Change Study Objectives –Explore existing approaches to local adaptation to climate change impacts and how these take account of social justice –Support the development of just local responses through recommendations for policy and practice Methodology –Theoretical review, survey of adaptation plans, case studies

9 Just adaptation principles Understanding current & future climate change impacts Understanding factors that contribute to vulnerability Identifying distribution of vulnerability – not a static state Involving those communities most likely to be affected Addressing specific implications for vulnerable groups & developing targeted adaptation activities Developing range of responses – adaptive capacity & actions, physical infrastructure & service delivery Being aware of trade-offs, minimise negative impacts for vulnerable communities Assess all adaptation options to select optimal choice

10 Adaptation Plans

11 Highland Case Study coastal and rural facing issues of coastal realignment, fluvial flooding, extreme weather and landslides

12 Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Map opportunities and threats of climate impacts Identify most vulnerable individuals, communities and sectors Develop community adaptation pilot

13 Integrating adaptation planning Web page showing detailed list of responsibilities for Flood Risk –SG, SEPA, THC, Scottish Water, Police, Fire and Rescue, Met Office, Transport Scotland, Scottish Flood Forum, Landowner, Home owners Gairloch and Loch Ewe community adaptation plan Equality Forum Road Show

14 Key messages from research ‘Socially Just Adaptation to Climate Change’ Need for socially just adaptation accepted & welcomed –Easier to deliver when both climate change & equalities agendas given high priority Building adaptive capacity evident in corporate plans & strategies, but... –Driven by climate change officers, less evidence in other services Just adaptation best achieved through responses targeted at & developed with vulnerable communities –But action needs to be taken locally - consider language, economic arguments & role of others

15 Key messages (cont) Technical, GIS solutions useful for mapping vulnerability –Care needs to be taken re: blight & data protection UK National priority for climate change adaptation not reflected consistently at local level Linking practice back to theory –Future climate change impact planning is evident through mechanisms such as LCLIPs & CCRAs –Evidence of understanding & identification of vulnerability - but action focused on vulnerability due to spatial location or health

16 Key messages (cont) Procedural justice/community involvement most evident in Highland – community planning in practice Responses tend to focus on building adaptive capacity rather than action Limited awareness of trade-offs & distribution of costs/benefits & impact on vulnerable communities Consideration of options built into adaptation planning - but not focused on outcomes for vulnerable communities

17 Conclusions Socially just adaptation is a complex process Will take time to embed into policy & practice Climate change adaptation has more profile at UK/ national government level than locally But local action needed to meet national objectives More needs to be done to share good practice, encourage commitment & action, & enable effective delivery Importance of language, promoting cost savings & moral/social issues Going beyond spatial vulnerability and health

18 Improving Adaptation in Scotland Key areas –Education & communication including use of language, understanding the agenda, opportunities & negative impacts –Mainstreaming socially just adaptation across Government, national organisations, local authorities & other local bodies –Collaborative working at local & national levels but with a clear definition of roles & responsibilities –Involvement of vulnerable communities in the development & delivery of climate change adaptation to embed social justice –Sharing knowledge & best practice to address varied standards of adaptation across the UK & engender collective improvement

19 Thank you Jean Welstead Technical Director SLR Consulting Ltd Email: Mob: +44 7788 316612 Tel: +44 131 3356830 Address: 4 The Roundal, Roddinglaw Business Park, Gogar, Edinburgh, EH12 9DB, United Kingdom

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