Climate Impacts Group Meeting Minutes, 17th February 2022

Attendees

Mark Rice (Chair) – Environment Agency 

Emily Reed – Devon Climate Emergency 

Emily Widdecombe – Devon Climate Emergency 

Elliot Batty – D&CIoS Local Resilience Forum 

Stephen Swaby – Isles of Scilly Council 

Alex Rainbow – Cornwall Council 

Tom Dauben – Environment Agency 

Penny Tranter – Met Office 

Douglas Lisle – NHS England 

Apologies

Alan Jeffrey – Cornwall Council 

Neil Hamlyn – D&CIoS Local Resilience Forum  

Laurence Couldrick – West Country Rivers Trust 

Hannah Fox – Cornwall Council 

Victoria Hatfield – Exeter City Council 

Ruth Rockley – Devon County Council 

James Cooper – Environment Agency 

Harriet Googe – Environment Agency 

Paul Minshull - Cornwall Council 

Jacqui Warren – Torbay Councill

Louise Sawyer – Devon and Cornwall Police

1. Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting were AGREED as an accurate record. Emily R reminded the group that the actions from the previous meeting would be covered in today’s meeting. 

2. The updated Terms of Reference for the group

Emily R presented the updated terms of reference for the benefit of the group, explaining how the new terms incorporate the updates agreed during the Climate Impacts Group workshop on the 17th of January.  

The updates include: 

  • Changing the wording around ‘responding to a warmer world’ to ‘responding to the effects of climate change’ 
  • Extending the scope of ‘resilience’ to include reference to ‘communities, economy and infrastructure’ as well as the ‘natural environment’.  

The group continued to discuss the finer points of the revised terms of reference to establish a logical order.  

Group members discussed whether climate mitigation, as well as adaptation, were within or beyond the scope of the Climate Impacts Group. Group members highlighted that climate mitigation is sometimes a co-benefit of climate adaptation measures (e.g tree planting for flood defence also sequesters carbon). The group discussed whether mitigation ought to be mentioned in the Terms of Reference. 

ACTION: Emily R to change the second bullet point in the Terms of Reference to include mention of public health and to remove the repetition of ‘communities’. 

ACTION: Emily R to change the third bullet point to read ‘improve the resilience of the natural environment to the effects of climate change’ 

ACTION: Emily R to assess the order of the bullet points, and, where possible, to update the Terms of Reference to acknowledge the overlap and co-benefits relating to climate mitigation. 

3. Appointment of a contractor to accelerate the work of the group

Emily Reed presented the group’s progress to date, including an overview of the work that remains to be completed according to the workplan.   

A) Discussion of Revised Brief for the contractor 

Emily R provided an overview of the revised brief. She highlighted the shift in focus, agreed at the Climate Impacts Group Workshop, away from an Adaptation Plan that might include all of the actions for climate adaptation that need to happen across the region, towards a document that helps others (e.g organisations, communities etc.) to create their own local adaptation plans. Emily R also highlighted that the revised brief should include a clear time horizon for the plan, and that the contractors must decide how often the plan will be revised, and who by. 

Emily R presented an alternative Work Package for the contractors, composed of three separate documents: 

1) Climate Risk and Opportunity Assessment 

2) The Adaptation Plan 

3) Regional adaptation action plan over the next 5 years. 

The group discussed aspects of governance for this piece of work. Emily R and Doug reminded the group of the existing governance structure, explaining how the work of the Climate Impacts Group is already answerable to the relevant governing bodies. Doug reminded the group that it was the responsibility of CIG group members to raise the necessary points/procedures required by their individual governing bodies to ensure that the work of the CIG is in-line with their necessary requirements. 

Emily R further explained the three work packages for the benefit of the group, before asking whether the group felt that the revised brief successfully reflected the workshop held on January 17th

The group discussed the ‘metrics of success’ for the completion and delivery of the work package. Some group members offered possible metrics that could be incorporated, whilst others suggested removing the section on metrics altogether. 

The group agreed that the revised brief provided greater clarity.  

The group discussed accessibility of the final three documents, including the necessity of producing differentiated versions for different audiences (e.g public facing documents vs. Documents for policy makers). 

The group broadly agreed to this approach, citing successful approaches such as that taken by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Emily R suggested that ultimately a website seemed like a suitable platform for presenting the Adaptation Plan. 

The group agreed that the brief was nearing completion, but needed to include the updates hitherto discussed. 

B) Which contractors should the brief be shared with? 

Doug raised the possibility of undertaking an open-market procurement exercise, which the group agreed to. 

Group members discussed their experiences of various contractors, concluding that Devon County Council would run the procurement exercise and keep the rest of the Climate Impacts Group informed about the time scale. 

Doug asked the group whether they are happy for Emily R to incorporate their feedback and undertake a procurement exercise, or whether members felt a further meeting was required. 

The group said they would like to see the draft specification before procurement begins.  

ACTION: Emily R will revise the brief over the next month.  

ACTION: DCE secretariat to approach the DCC procurement team 

ACTION: Climate Impacts Group Members to provide information and contacts for potential contractors. 

4. AOB

Emily R informed the group that there is a transnational call for innovation projects from Water For All.