Climate change is happening. The UK is predicted to see extreme weather with hotter summers regularly reaching 40C, intense local flooding, sea level rises and, extreme water levels including storm surges. We know that this will happen so, how should we prepare?
this is not the worst case scenario
The Earth’s atmosphere is warming creating new, inclement, patterns with increasingly extreme weather. In the UK, the Met Office predicts extreme swings with;
- Hotter summers regularly reaching 40C
- Periods of drought
- Intense local flooding
- Sea level rises
- Extreme water levels including storm surges
Remember this is whether or not global warming gets any worse. In other words, this is not the worst case scenario.
The Met Office states that “our adaptation plans should include preparation for worse climate change scenarios”
our infrastructure will start to fail, and vulnerable groups will suffer the most and die
How will this effect us?
In the UK we are usually prepared for the normal types of weather we experience (maybe not out train services though 😉 ) and, let’s face it, our green and pleasant land is shaped by quite gentle weather patterns.
Our bodies can deal with the temperature range. Our houses, buildings, hospitals, schools can cope with 25C heat. Our transport infrastructure including road surfaces, rail tracks, and transport systems are designed for the temperature and rain/snow levels we receive.
But as weather reached the predicted extremes, our infrastructure will start to fail, and vulnerable groups will suffer the most and die.
Imagine soil shrinkage causing burst water and gas mains causing a loss of water, loss of gas and local fires.
It is time to review upgrade our infrastructure to help life continue as pleasantly as possible and, prevent the chaos, anxiety, suffering, and increased death rate that would be caused by the predicted extreme weather.
If we fail to plan, we plan to fail our residents and communities, especially the vulnerable and poor.
Climate Change Resilience should be included in the RBWM Environment & Climate Strategy
Climate Change Resilience – preparing for extreme weather patterns
The good news is that some of the methods for creating resilience in our communities and environment also increase our well being and, help reduce our carbon footprint, and not just prevent the dire.
Here’s what we should do;
- Work with meteorologists to assess the effects on national and local weather
- Assess what services, infrastructure, buildings, and people are at risk****
- Identify methods to reduce the negative outcomes on these areas****
- Find funding to implement the ideas****
- Implement the ideas****
- Continually review the predictions, risk, and effectiveness of proposed solutions****
**** These activities should include deep engagement and collaboration with partners including residents, businesses and health services
In order to achieve this, Climate Change Resilience should be included in the RBWM Environment & Climate Strategy
Learning from others, what could our plan include?
Applying the Venn Diagram from the City of Toronto’s Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Syneries to our local situation, here are just a few, off the cuff ideas – remember, this should be done in detail by RBWM and collaboratively to ensure we can face the future as well prepared as we can be;
- Planting more trees and, considering planting type and fire breaks – this will absorb rainfall and reduce local flooding
- Prevent building on any flood plains and green spaces
- Prevent the loss of green spaces such as front and rear gardens – this will prevent an increase in surface water run off exacerbating local flooding
- Weatherproofing buildings to cope with extreme heat
- Stipulating building regulations that allow residents and building users to exist comfortably
- Invest in flood mitigation schemes such as the River Thames Scheme
- Build water storage facilities or secure water supply for food producers
- Build roads to survive high temperatures and localised flooding
- Create community emergency plans
- Facilitate useful, green, low cost, climate-resilient transportation
- Implement water saving concepts and devices
- Faciltate residents and businesses achieving all of the above through education, grants, collaborations, prizes, and conferences
RBWM must include Climate Resilience in its plans and, we must push them to do so.
We must prevent dereliction of duty, negligence in power and, authorities reneging on their responsibilities to us.
Failure is not an option.
Please respond to the RBWM Environment & Climate Strategy Consultation – click here
Cllr Wisdom Da Costa
Co-Deputy Vice-Chair, RBWM Cross Party Climate Change Panel
- Click here to find out how to submit you’re response to the RBWM Environment & Climate Strategy Consultation
- Click here to see what others are saying about the RBWM Environment & Climate Strategy Consultation
- Click here to see how these points can be developed and map onto the form for the RBWM Environment & Climate Strategy Consultation
- Click here to find out about Climate Change and pathways to Net Zero Carbon & Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Click here to find out about how we can stop mass extinctions locally and, help restore flora and fauna to healthy levels (restoration of Biodiversity)
- Met Office Climate Change Weather – program overview
- Met Office Climate Change Weather – report https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/binaries/content/assets/metofficegovuk/pdf/research/ukcp/ukcp-headline-findings-v2.pdf
- Met Office Climate Change Weather – infographics https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/binaries/content/assets/metofficegovuk/pdf/research/ukcp/ukcp18-infographic-headline-findings-land.pdf
- Met Office Climate Change Weather – Summry https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/binaries/content/assets/metofficegovuk/pdf/research/ukcp/ukcp18-overview-summary.pdf
- National Climate Resilience and Adaptation | Australian Government Strategy https://www4.unfccc.int/sites/NAPC/Documents%20NAP/National%20Climate%20Resilience%20and%20Adaptation%20Strategy.pdf
- Adaptation Clearinghouse https://www.adaptationclearinghouse.org/resources/taking-action-on-green-resilience-climate-change-adaptation-and-mitigation-synergies.html
- Climate Change Adaptation and `Mitigation Synergies | Victoria, British Columbiw https://static1.squarespace.com/static/58c977dbc534a56689255f62/t/5a14384e53450a4e607cc609/1511274583720/ACT_GRS_LCF2017_Web_Final.pdf
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change |Climate-Resilient Pathways: Adaptation, Mitigation, and Sustainable Development https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/WGIIAR5-Chap20_FINAL.pdf
- This post is part of the WWRA Councillors regular series of Blogs to inform and empower local residents; as promised in their election leaflet
- It is also to comply with clause v of the Members Code of Conduct which states, “You must be as open as possible about your decisions and actions and the decisions and actions of your authority and should be prepared to give reasons for those decisions and actions.”
- The views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the West Windsor Residents Association (WWRA).
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