When talking about climate action, there is naturally a tendency to focus primarily on climate change mitigation. When faced with a potential disaster, the automatic response is to think about what can be done to stop it from happening. However, the current climate emergency also demands adaptation of how we live and work in order to reduce our vulnerability to climate change.
Climate change is not just about mitigation. It is also about adaption. However successful we are at mitigating, climate change will happen and temperature rise by the end of the century will almost certainly be 2.6% and over.
Indeed some of the latest research suggests that by the end of the century climate change will be between 2.6% and 4.9% The higher figure is frightening and the lower one is higher than the International Panel on Climate Change argued we should be working towards. Also ice is melting so fast in Greenland and in West Antartica that the International’s Panel’s prediction of a 3.2 metre rise in sea level has now had to be revised to something closer to 6 metres.
All of this together means substantial flooding in the UK and in London, higher temperatures that will seriously impact on public health, extreme weather conditions and a crisis in food security by the impact of drought and water shortage world wide.
How do we cope with that and adapt to it. How do we build from this point on community resilience. There is only a brief mention of this in the Council Plan but there is no defined strategy.
A plan that deals with mitigation and not adaption is only half a plan.