Adaptation Scotland - The Highland Council, in partnership with Adaptation Scotland, have launched a survey asking local communities and businesses to share their experiences about how they have been affected by severe weather and climate change over the past few years.
While the impacts of climate change and extreme weather are already being felt across the Highlands, from damage to infrastructure, to disruption of vital services and a shift in growing seasons, more information is needed about how local communities and businesses are being affected.
Following the Council’s recent declaration of a climate and ecological emergency, work in the Highlands to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will continue to contribute to limiting the extent of future climate change. However, past and present day emissions mean that the rate of climate change will intensify over the coming decades and there is therefore a need to adapt to changes now.
The Council, along with Community Planning Partners, believe there could be significant benefits to establishing a Highland-wide climate change adaptation partnership to coordinate and deliver a joined-up approach to managing the impacts of the climate crisis in Highland. Adaptation Scotland, a programme funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by sustainability charity Sniffer, has already seen similar schemes set up in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and the Glasgow City Region. The schemes have shown adapting is easier, cheaper, and more effective through partnership working.
The results of the survey will help identify local priorities that could be tacked if a new climate change adaptation partnership is established.
Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson, said: “The Council recently declared a climate and ecological emergency, and we are well aware of the extent of the challenge facing the region. To that end, taking a proactive, Highland-wide partnership approach to the risks that climate change is going to bring to Highland seems to be a sensible way forward. The views of Highland communities and businesses will help us better understand the challenges they are facing as well as shaping how we can best address this in a collaborative way.”
Anna Beswick, Adaptation Scotland Programme Manager at Sniffer explained “we want to find out more about how communities and businesses across the Highlands are being impacted by climate change. It is crucial that we listen and understand how people are being affected. Any new climate change adaptation partnership must respond to local concerns and priorities. The results of the survey will provide important information to help plan for the future”.
The survey can be here found and is available until 6 September.