Climate Change Adaptation

Climate change adaptation refers to responding to the changes that have already happened with the climate and preparing for predicted future climate changes.  The world recognises the need to limit future climate change by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. The levels of these gases already emitted, however, have resulted and will continue to result in changes to the climate with possible severe negative impacts.

Adaptation involves making alterations to land, buildings, infrastructure (e.g. roads railways and utility networks) and other aspects of society so they can cope with the types of weather expected as a result of climate change.  It is also often referred to as ‘climate resilience’. It is, however, not certain how climate change will impact different places and one aspect of climate change is that it is it likely to make weather more unpredictable.

In Scotland, scientific records show that temperatures in the last few decades have increased with the last decade being the warmest. There has been increased rainfall with heavier downpours and less frost and snow. In the future, it is projected that summers will be hotter and drier, winters will be milder and wetter and weather may be even more changeable. The consequences of these could be the occurrence of pests that prefer a warmer climate, less availability and quality of water, increased flooding and wearing away of the coastline.

Action on climate change adaptation will differ from place to place depending on the expected impacts of climate change. Inverclyde could be affected by flooding as a result of increased rainfall and sea-level rise. Inverclyde Council has, therefore, invested in projects that help reduce flooding. The Council’s ‘Climate Change Plan 2018’ places an obligation on the Council to consider the impacts of climate change on its operations and ways it can adapt.

The Council is a partner of Climate Ready Clyde, which is a cross-sector initiative funded by the Scottish Government and partner organisations to create a shared vision, strategy and action plan for an adapting Glasgow City Region. Further information is available on the Climate Ready Clyde website.