Climate change adaptation programme: progress report 2022

Third annual progress report on "Climate Ready Scotland: Scotland’s Climate Change Adaptation Programme 2019 to 2024".

5. Progress towards "the people in Scotland who are most vulnerable to climate change being able to adapt and climate justice being embedded in climate adaptation policy"

SCCAP2 Outcome 2: The people in Scotland who are most vulnerable to climate change are able to adapt and climate justice is embedded in climate change adaptation policy

This outcome has two sub-outcomes divided along the themes of vulnerable people and health and social care.

Examples of progress towards policies in support of the sub-outcome that "the most vulnerable to climate change in Scotland are engaged, empowered and able to adapt to climate change"

Scottish Flood Forum – The Scottish Government continue to grant fund the Scottish Flood Forum to work with communities at flood risk. The Forum's aim is to reduce the impacts of flooding on individuals and communities, through providing immediate support following a flood and by establishing a network of community resilience groups in flood risk areas to equip communities to cope with the impacts and threat of flooding. The grant was increased to £195,000 in 2021-22. This enables the Forum to support and build resilience in communities at flood risk and manage the work of the Property Flood Resilience Delivery Group.

Green Infrastructure Fund - The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Green Infrastructure Fund continued to support green network expansion in Scotland's most deprived urban areas. These multifunctional nature-based solutions promote adaptation for nature and people together. There are seven Phase 1 projects (around £22 million total investment). Five have completed, with the remainder due later in 2022. All projects in this very competitive fund provide a broad range of adaptation benefits as part of nature based solutions. These include urban cooling; reducing flood risk by using rainwater as a positive amenity; creating nature networks; enabling safe active travel; healthy recreation in high quality greenspace; and community food growing. The sites attract heavy use, with resounding positive feedback, further evidencing the need for this type of intervention. They have won multiple awards and attracted international interest in how Scotland is using multi-functional greenspace for adaptation, delivering for nature and people simultaneously and successfully.

Scottish Flood Forecasting and Warning Service – Despite a cyber-attack on 24 December 2020 which impacted SEPA's IT systems, SEPA was able to maintain their 24/7/365 flood warning services enabling people – in particular those in flood risk areas - to take action to protect and prepare in advance of flooding, reducing its damage and disruption. Local flood warning services were expanded to the River Ayr and Annick Water in South West Scotland. Preparations were made for the procurement of a new multi-hazard incident messaging system and future digital improvements to the Floodline service. A new 3 day Scottish Flood Forecast web based service is also being developed for public launch in summer 2022.

Examples of progress towards policies in support of the sub-outcome that "Scotland's health and social care is ready and responding to changing demands as a result of the changing climate"

NHS Scotland Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy - The draft NHS Scotland Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy was published for consultation in November 2021 and the final version will be published later this year. This strategy proposes a set of policy and actions that NHS Boards will take to adapt to climate change – for example, ensuring that Climate Change Risk Assessments and adaptation plans are integrated with other strategies, risk assessments and business continuity plans; establishing a programme of monitoring to capture data that will enable a robust assessment of the nature and severity of overheating at in-patient facilities; and considering opportunities to develop and manage greenspace and other green infrastructure such as green roofs and rain gardens to help mitigate flood risks.

NHS Board Climate Change Risk Assessments and Adaptation Plans – In 2021, Health Facilities Scotland (HFS) reviewed NHS sites identified as being at high risk of flooding and recommendations were made to the respective NHS Boards. This review built on a national study on the impacts of climate change on NHS assets undertaken by HFS in 2016. Flooding and overheating are identified as the climate risks most likely to have the biggest effect on the estate and operations of NHS Scotland as well as increasing patient demand. As at April 2022, there was a commitment for all Health Boards have completed Climate Change Risk Assessment and Adaptation Plans for their areas.

Air quality – Scotland's changing climate may affect air quality and the related health impacts. The Cleaner Air for Scotland Strategy (CAFS 2) was published in July 2021 and implementation of the actions set out in CAFS 2 has subsequently commenced. Initial meetings of the Ministerial and Delivery Groups took place in December 2021, with expert working groups for key policy areas beginning to meet in the first part of 2022. A progress report will be published in summer 2022.

Preparing for a warmer climate: Water Refills in Public Places, Top Up Taps - Increasing the availability of tap water can help support Scotland's population adapt to the changing climate by providing a free, accessible way to stay hydrated, particularly important during hot weather. Scottish Water has now installed 63 refill points across Scotland. The growing network has already saved the equivalent of 450,000 single use plastic bottles since the first tap went live outside Holyrood on 27 September 2018. By reducing the amount of plastic we use and throw away, we can help to reduce the pressure on marine ecosystems.

How the Adaptation Scotland Programme is supporting progress towards this outcome:

Adaptation Scotland works with local partners to support development of place-based adaptation initiatives that include and enable those who are most vulnerable to climate change to be involved in adaptation. For example, Adaptation Scotland supported local partners to incorporate climate and social justice as a guiding principle for the Highland Adapts initiative – which was formally established in 2021.

Adaptation Scotland has worked closely with Trade Union Movement over the past year to engage members and co-develop adaptation guidance and tools. These will be published in Spring 2022, in conjunction with resources from UNISON Scotland and the STUC. Together, these resources will be used by Trade Union representatives in workplaces across Scotland to identify the climate risks that are affecting them and advocate for adaptation action as an important part of achieving a just transition.

The Adaptation Capability Framework developed through the Adaptation Scotland programme continues to provide Health Boards with guidance on how to develop their work to adapt to climate change. The Framework is endorsed by NHS National Services Scotland and compliments their specialist climate change risk assessment resources.



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