State of the Region dialogue on climate change published

Illustration: solar panel, wind farm, tractor, farming, person saying 'walk the talk'We’ve published the State of the Region dialogue Challenge or opportunity? How to plan for climate change (pdf, 1.3mb).

This report aims to help decision makers understand how climate change will impact on their areas and also give practical ways of adapting to, and taking advantage of, the opportunities and challenges presented by climate change.

The report covers six policy themes:

  • Built environment
  • Natural resources (water, land use and food)
  • Transport
  • Health
  • Energy and waste
  • Business, skills and education

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

We identified the following consistent messages across all the policy themes:

  • Climate change will bring some very serious challenges but there are already a whole range of opportunities for mitigating against, adapting to and benefiting from climate change.
  • We need to use fewer resources and use those resources more efficiently.
  • By factoring climate change into our planning and investment decisions now, we can minimise the costs of adapting to that change in the future.
  • On a consumer level, the use of demand management is an important signal towards the more efficient use of resources.
  • There are opportunities ahead: a growing market for those businesses that operate in the environmental technologies sector; new drivers for innovation; the opportunity to become self-sufficient in energy supply and reduce costs.
  • The West Midlands tourist industry should benefit from warmer weather and the escalating cost of foreign travel, but this needs to be planned sustainably so we do not damage our environment.
  • There are two strands to the infrastructure challenge. One is the need for new infrastructure to facilitate adaptation and mitigation of climate change. The second is the ability of large scale infrastructure procurement to drive low carbon development.

We would like to thank the West Midlands Climate Change Panel, the West Midlands Climate Change Office and the Environment Group for their contributions, assistance and guidance in producing the report.

We’re also grateful to the authors of the chapters and those that helped us develop the themes.

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