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Making the case for climate change adaptation

30/07/14

Aberdeen City Council has been chosen to be part of an innovative new mentoring scheme to help public bodies adapt to climate change.

Adaptation Scotland has chosen nine public bodies from a very strong field of candidates to be part of the Adaptation Learning Exchange (ALE) – an initiative which will allow participants to work collaboratively on adaptation planning. The overarching aim of ALE is to increase the individual and collective resilience of organisations in Scotland.

ALE will make the Council a leader in fulfilling its statutory duty, under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. The guidance states that "all public bodies need to be resilient to the future climate and to plan for business continuity in relation to delivery of their functions and the services they deliver to the wider community".

The first workshop focussed on how to communicate adaptation and build the business case. Participants worked on facilitating constructive discussions and delivering persuasive arguments in relation to climate change adaptation.

Future workshops will look at embedding adaptation in existing organisational processes, overcoming barriers and sharing experiences. In addition to the workshops Adaptation Scotland will provide one-to-one advice to each participating organisation.

The programme builds on the advice in Adaptation Scotland's new guidance, Five Steps to Managing your Climate Risks.
Adaptation Scotland, a programme funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by Sniffer, is running the mentoring scheme. The lessons from ALE will be shared with public bodies across Scotland and inform future adaptation planning practices in Scotland and beyond.

Enterprise, Strategic Planning and Infrastructure convener Councillor Barney Crockett said: "I'm very proud that Aberdeen City Council has been selected as a participant in the ALE scheme. We have a strong track record in taking steps to tackle climate change, including by being a leading authority on carbon management and being one of the first UK councils to sign up to the Carbon Trust Local Authority Carbon Management Programme.

"As well as making strenuous efforts to tackle climate change, we must look to the future and work hard to ensure we are as resilient and prepared as we can be to deal with the impacts of it in the years to come.

"It's important for the council to work with others to keep Aberdeen at the forefront of the race to meet the challenges of climate change."

Adaptation Scotland programme manager Anna Beswick said: 'Scotland's climate is already changing with more heavy rainfall, sea level rise and long-term temperature increases presenting numerous challenges across society. Public bodies have a vital role to play in ensuring that Scotland adapts and is resilient to these changes.

"The mentoring programme is an important opportunity for public bodies to share experiences and identify new and innovative approaches that will increase climate resilience alongside addressing other social, economic and environmental priorities.

"The organisations selected to participate in the programme demonstrated strong leadership, understanding and commitment to taking action. The lessons learned through the mentoring programme will be shared widely with other public bodies and will be of benefit to many."

For more information about Adaptation Scotland visit http://www.adaptationscotland.org.uk/1/1/0/Home.aspx