Climate Impacts Group Meeting Minutes, 29th November

Attendees

Mark Rice (Chair) – Environment Agency
Tom Dauben – Environment Agency
Emily Reed – Devon Climate Emergency
Doug Eltham – Devon County Council
Emily Widdecombe – Devon Climate Emergency
Harriet Googe – Environment Agency
Alan Jeffrey – Cornwall Council
Alex Rainbow – Cornwall Council
Louise Sawyer – Devon and Cornwall Police
Rob Scarrott – South West Water
Stephen Swaby – Isles of Scilly Council

Apologies

Elliot Batty – D&CIoS Local Resilience Forum
Penny Tranter – Met Office
James Cooper – Environment Agency
Neil Hamlyn – D&CIoS Local Resilience Forum
Dave Watkins – Cornwall Council
Ruth Rockley – Devon County Council
Jacqui Warren – Torbay Council
Jane Grey – NHS England
Laurence Couldrick – West Country Rivers Trust
Saska McGrath – South West Water
Michael Allum – Public Health England
Hannah Fox – Cornwall Council

1. Minutes of Previous Meeting

These were accepted as a true record. 

The Climate Projections Report is now online on the Devon Climate Emergency website along with the narratives on climate risk.  These are on a new climate adaptation page on the website.

2. Funding Bid to the Environment Agency

The Group has been successful in receiving £25k from the Flood Defence Grant in Aid to consolidate the work of the Group and get the next stages of the Adaptation Plan complete. A brief has been provided to WSP, DCC’s framework contractor, and Emily will be meeting with them later this week to agree a work programme and timetable.

They will:

  • Compare existing climate risk register with the latest UK climate risks register. Identify any gaps.
  • Those gaps will be brought to the Group to sense check them.
  • Group partners will be contacted individually to discuss levels of preparedness for each of the risks in the register.
  • Actions to fill any gaps in preparedness will start to form the Adaptation Plan.

Paul Minshull asked if the Group can see the brief. Emily said she will circulate a proposal once further conversations with WSP have occurred to refine it.

ACTION: Emily Reed to circulate the brief following discussions with WSP and then determine with Mark Rice whether the December meeting of the Group will be useful.

3. Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Plan

Stephen Swabey reported that the Isles of Scilly have issued a tender to prepare an Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Plan for the islands.

The Plan wants to take a bottom-up approach to work with communities and organisations directly to develop the responses that they feel are needed.

The tender asks for a summary of the potential effects of climate change on the islands and to extend that into specific effects on particular sectors so that actions can be developed. The plan will be updated regularly to keep it relevant.

It’s a different approach to the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Adaptation Plan which is top-down and so the two plans can meet somewhere in the middle and inform each other.

The Group discussed how the top-down plan could provide the tools and guidance to help parish and town councils to prepare their own adaptation plans. Alongside this, the strategic bodies could then focus on the strategic issues relevant to whole counties and the peninsula.

4. Local Climate Adaptation Tool

Alex Rainbow gave an overview of a tool designed to help local authorities to find the best adaptation strategies for climate change in their area. It is a technology demonstrator. The tool provides climate projection data at Lower Super Output Level resolution. The projections were applied to the activity of Active Transport to show how the projections could affect it. The tool then suggests adaptation actions that local authorities could implement to avoid the effects. The tool was demonstrated at COP26. The next stage of the tool development is to build effects data for more activities which will involve a further literature review.

Alan Jeffrey asked which other activities will be developed? Alex said that the project team is consulting with stakeholders now to decide that.

Tom Dauben said that there could be links with an Environment Agency project to review the effect of climate impacts, flooding in particular, on local authority assets. Alex said he would see if the project team would attend a future session of the Group to explain more and pick up these conversations.

ACTION: Alex Rainbow to ask the LCAT Project Team if they could attend a future meeting

5. New Webpages

Emily Widdecombe advised the Group that there are new pages on the Devon Climate Emergency website explaining what the Climate Impacts Group is doing. This includes the climate projections report and the narratives on the effects of climate change on health and flood risk. The environment narrative will appear this week.

Doug noted that this is obviously just how the Devon Climate Emergency project is communicating the activity of the Group, and it will be up to the projects running in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to communicate it how they see fit for their areas.

6. Any Other Business

Tom Dauben advised of two consultations that Group members may wish to get involved in.

  • The draft River Basin Management Plans’ consultation is running for 6 months from 22 October 2021 to 22 April 2022 
  • The draft Flood Risk Management Plans’ consultation is running for 3 months from 22 October 2021 to 21 Jan 2022