Challenge or opportunity? How to plan for climate change

Blog ACtion Day 2009 on Climate ChangeToday is Blog Action Day 2009, when more than 8,000 blogs from 146 countries are discussing issues around climate change.

Here’s our contribution to this global initiative.

In a few weeks’ time, we’ll publish the findings from our state of the region dialogue on climate change titled Challenge or Opportunity? How to plan for climate change.


This dialogue started in April 2009 with a workshop that helped us identify potential ways to approach climate change. The idea was to provide a space for a dialogue between those producing the evidence and those making policy, in order to deliver better evidence-based policy for the West Midlands.

The workshop identified that lack of evidence certainly isn’t the issue around climate change.

The key challenge ahead is what to do and how to communicate that evidence so that we can prevent, revert and even take advantage of its consequences.

We were asked to present the evidence in a way that’s more accessible to a non-environmental audience. It will be set out to explain the challenges faced by different policy areas and also to identify opportunities that from the climate change agenda.

The six policy areas included are:

  • Built environment
  • Natural resources
  • Transport
  • Health
  • Energy and waste
  • Business, skills and education

By reviewing climate change from these policy perspectives, we aim to demonstrate that while climate change will impact on all areas of life, these areas can all contribute to minimising the impact, help us adapt to the changing climate and take advantage of the opportunities that arise.

Parallel to this work, we’re holding a workshop titled Environment and Economy next Tuesday (20th October), as part of the Observatory’s Annual Conference. This is a perfect opportunity to discuss the environmental issues raised in our book West Midlands: Fit for the Future?, published in July 2009.

You can book your place via our website or using this booking form (doc, 53kb). Here’s the programme (pdf, 71kb) for the day.

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