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Socially Just Adaptation to Climate Change Rachel Brisley, JBA Consulting. Climate Justice: Local Impacts and Actions - CLASP Salvation Army Centre, Preston 16 October 2012. Who’s Who?. Report was commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

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socially just adaptation to climate change rachel brisley jba consulting

Socially Just Adaptation to Climate ChangeRachel Brisley, JBA Consulting

Climate Justice: Local Impacts and Actions - CLASP

Salvation Army Centre, Preston

16 October2012

who s who
Who’s Who?
  • Report was commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Authored by SQW, working with Professor Jouni Paavola
  • Findings presented by Rachel Brisley, JBA Consulting (previously SQW)
  • Study directed by Jean Welstead, SLR Consulting (previously SQW)
structure of the presentation
Structure of the presentation
  • Introduction to the study
  • What is socially just adaptation?
  • Policy drivers
  • Local authority progress
  • Case study lessons
  • Conclusions & recommendations
introduction to the study
Introduction to the study
  • Objectives
    • Explore existing approaches to local adaptation to climate change impacts & how these take account of social justice
    • Support the development of just local responses to climate change by making recommendations for policy & practice
  • Methodology
    • Theoretical review of social justice in relation to adaptation
    • Survey of local authorities to assess progress with just adaptation
    • 3 case studies - Highlands, Islington, York
    • Broader review of adaptation practice elsewhere, including the use of adaptation tools
what is socially just adaptation
What is socially just adaptation?
  • Adaptation means changing our behaviour to respond to both the projected and current impacts of climate change
  • Need to understand who is vulnerable (to climate change impacts) & how their needs will be met
  • Social issues related to adaptation are diverse & contextually specific
  • Procedural justice
    • empowering communities to become involved in decision-making
  • Distributive justice
    • distribution of income, assets & opportunities
just adaptation principles
Just adaptation principles

1) Build in current & future climate change impacts

2) Understand factors that contribute to vulnerability

3) Identify distribution of vulnerability – not a static state

4) Involve those communities most likely to be affected

5) Understand impacts & target activities

6) Develop a full range of responses

7) Be aware of trade-offs

8) Assess all adaptation options to select optimal choice

policy drivers
Policy drivers
  • UK Government – climate change adaptation is a high priority but expects activity to be driven locally
    • Challenging in climate of public sector funding cuts
  • Not just a local authority responsibility
    • Environment Agency, SEPA, NIEA, Single Body
    • NHS/Public Health bodies, transport providers & private sector
    • Emergency services, housing associations & third sector
  • Most policies refer to social justice implications but . . .
    • Narrow interpretation – focus on spatial vulnerability & health
    • Social vulnerability generally not taken into account & procedural justice not investigated
local authority review findings
Local authority review & findings
  • Review undertaken (spring 2011)
    • NI 188 data, reviewed plans at Level 2 or 3 (2009/10), comparison with LGG Survey (2010)
  • Findings
    • 36 completed plans
    • Significant variety – content, detail & progress
    • Research activities dominated
    • Lots of action focused on drainage & water management
    • Achievement of Level 3 status was low
local authority review findings cont
Local authority review & findings (cont.)
  • Power to respond in number of ways including housing, planning & building control
  • 2/3 of plans considered physical vulnerability
  • Impacts upon different groups of residents not differentiated
  • Refit of social housing stock included
  • Around 25% considered equality & impacts of adaptation/ mal-adaptation
  • LAs keen to embed socially just climate change adaptation, but current constraints mean it is difficult to prioritise
recent context
Recent context
  • Green Alliance Report (Nov 2011)
  • 65% of LAs – climate change less of a priority than previously
  • Potential to increase priority locally
  • CCRA, NAP, Local Nature Partnerships, Localism, neighbourhood planning, transfer of public health to LAs, economic arguments
case studies highland islington york summary findings
Case studies – Highland, Islington, York: summary findings
  • Need for socially just adaptation accepted & welcomed
  • 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
    • Technical, GIS solutions useful for mapping vulnerability
    • Care needs to be taken re: blight & data protection
    • National priority for climate change adaptation not reflected at local level
    • But action needs to be taken locally - consider language, economic arguments & role of others – not sole responsibility of LAs
  • Adaptation Plan refers to differential impacts, vulnerability, equality/equity & community engagement
  • Gairloch Community Adaptation Plan
  • HC community workshops highlighted a number of actions for voluntary organisations working with vulnerable groups:
    • to work with emergency services, not just for service provision, but also for providing clear information on what to do in an emergency
    • to regularly review who in the community could be vulnerable to extreme weather
    • care home managers to consider the location of their sites and evacuation procedures
  • Impact that increased temperature could have on health has been identified as a particular issue for Islington
  • Cross-departmental Adaptation Board
  • Cross-Borough Adaptation Group
  • Risk assessment of the Adaptation Strategy
  • Action Plan
  • Equalities Impact Assessment of the Adaptation Strategy
  • Good Practice Guides
  • Cool-It presentations
islington adapting to high temperatures reduced rainfall
Islington – adapting to high temperatures & reduced rainfall

The Rainsponge Project: fitting out the paved courtyard of a community centre has reduced seasonal flooding and encouraged centre users to use the outdoor space

Rainwater garden

  • Corporate commitment to climate change adaptation
    • Climate change plan refresh (2013) will have greater focus on social justice & needs of vulnerable communities
  • Local Plan Core Strategy
    • supportive policies
  • First Call 50+ & Hotspots campaign
    • referral to support services for vulnerable people
  • Adaptation planning in collaboration with local travellers
  • Specific adaptation examples
    • Temporary bridge to social housing
    • Raised sockets in care homes
  • Socially just adaptation is complex & requires working with multiple partners
  • Greater profile nationally than locally
  • Climate change impacts largely accepted, but action focused on emergency responses
  • Social justice taken into account to a degree, but focuses on spatial vulnerability & health
  • More needs to be done - share good practice, encourage commitment & action, work with communities & enable effective delivery
  • Opportunities exist to progress socially just adaptation
  • Trade-offs between costs & benefits not highlighted - central to embedding just adaptation NAP!
  • 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
contact details
Contact details

Rachel Brisley

Technical Director

JBA Consulting

01925 570 876