The effects of global climate change are already being felt in Edinburgh with changes in rainfall, more severe weather events, sea level rise and increasing temperatures here to stay. Although efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions will help to reduce the extent of future changes in climate, we know that people living in 100 years’ time will experience a very different climate to the one we are familiar with now.
That’s why organisations, businesses and communities across Edinburgh have come together to develop the City’s first Edinburgh Adapts vision and action plan. Taking early action to prepare and respond to impacts such as increased risk of damage to buildings, flooding and loss of natural habitats will help build a stronger more resilient future. The action plan includes over 100 actions shared between 40 partner organisations and is backed up by the Edinburgh Adapts Steering Group who will oversee implementation of the plan and develop new actions in the years ahead.
Edinburgh’s historic environment is at the heart of the new Vision and Action Plan. Experts from Historic Environment Scotland and Edinburgh World Heritage have developed actions that will help residents, organisations and businesses increase the resilience of their historic buildings and have also shown the crucial role that the historic environment will play in enabling Edinburgh to thrive in a changing climate. New guidance on adapting historic buildings is also already being made available to help promote the many small measures that can make a big difference.
Edinburgh Adapts Launch Event, Holyrood Park, Thursday 1st December 2016:
Abbeyhill primary school youngsters with Roseanna Cunningham MSP (left, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform) with Cllr Lesley Hinds (Edinburgh Sustainable Development Partnership).
Publication of the Edinburgh Adapts Vision and Action Plan is a significant moment in Edinburgh’s journey as an adapting, resilient city. Seeing the Edinburgh Adapts Vision become reality will be a huge challenge which can only be realised by significant, sustained commitment to action. The Action Plan gives plenty of cause for optimism with many of the City’s leading organisations making strong commitments to taking action and continuing to work together in the years ahead. Actions include introducing new green infrastructure and flood risk management measures as well as factoring climate change impacts in to investment in new infrastructure and land use planning and supporting communities to adapt as part of wider work to build local resilience across the city.
Moving forward Historic Environment Scotland will play an important role in driving progress as part of the Edinburgh Adapts Steering Group working alongside organisations such as City of Edinburgh Council, the University of Edinburgh, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Edinburgh World Heritage, Heriot Watt University, Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh, Sniffer and Adaptation Scotland to see the Edinburgh Adapts vision become a reality.
Anna Beswick is the Adaptation Scotland Programme Manager. Adaptation Scotland supports organisations, businesses and communities to increase resilience and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Over the past 18 months Anna has supported the Edinburgh Sustainable Development Partnership to develop a city wide ‘Edinburgh Adapts’ vision and action plan.