Scotland’s climate is changing but action to adapt to critical impacts has stalled, posing risks to people, infrastructure, and business, finds a new assessment from the Climate Change Committee (CCC).
Over the last 30 years, average temperature in Scotland has risen by 0.5?C, Scottish winters have become 5% wetter and sea level around the Scottish coast has increased by up to 3cm each decade.
Further climate change in Scotland is now inevitable, no matter how rapidly global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, according to the CCC.
The Scottish Government has set out a vision to adapt the nation and build its climate resilience, but more needs to be done to translate this ambition into real-world adaptation.
The CCC’s assessment highlights five areas where action to adapt and build resilience to climate change in Scotland is stalling, including natural environment, infrastructure, built environment, health and business.
Chair of the CCC’s Adaptation Committee, Baroness Brown, said: ‘We commend the Scottish Government on its vision for a climate ready Scotland, but the reality is that action is not happening at the scale or pace required. In most sectors including the natural and built environments, health, infrastructure and business, action has stalled.
‘Without a renewed sense of urgency, the significant changes we are already seeing in Scotland today will have impacts on all areas of Scottish society and nature in the years to come. Scotland needs to up its game by kickstarting delivery; introducing clear, measurable targets; improving monitoring and evaluation of climate risks and ensuring greater accountability for Government – it has some examples of good practice to build on.’
The CCC recommends that the Scottish Government drives action based on its vision for a well-adapted Scotland, setting out clear, time-bound and quantitative targets, and urgently improves monitoring and evaluation.
It also recommends that the Scottish Government raises the level of adaption response.
The full report on the assessment can be viewed here.
Photo by Bjorn Snelders