The Scottish weather can cause significant problems for homes, businesses and travel. These problems are predicted to get worse as the climate changes, with wilder and wetter weather, more flooding and landslides, but also heatwaves and drought. The businesses and public services we depend on in daily life need to work together to avoid these negative impacts on health and well-being, the economy and our natural environment.
Adapting homes, communities, workplaces and our infrastructure presents a great opportunity to improve where we live and work: For example, homes can be refurbished to be more energy efficient and less prone to condensation, overheating or flooding, reducing costs and increasing health and well-being. Sustainable urban drainage (SUDS) can be created in the form of parks and greenspace, or active travel routes.
How do we assess and consider the risks and opportunities from climate change as we develop the places we live and work?
Resilient communities are able to respond to and recover from extreme weather and emergencies. Building resilience depends on planning – both in the physical infrastructure and delivery of emergency and health services.
National and local governments, emergency services, road and rail authorities, individual businesses and the public all have their role to play.
Explore the Climate Ready Places tool:
Our buildings, and transport and utilities infrastructure are vital elements in a modern society and economy. Disruption in one location can have significant knock-on effect across a much wider area.
We need well-managed infrastructure and buildings to provide continuous access to amenities and services, and avoid losses to the economy.
The National Planning Framework 3's vision for Scotland is:
- a successful, sustainable place
- a low carbon place
- a natural, resilient place
- a connected place
Scotland is not experiencing the most severe impacts of climate change. However, the Scottish Government has been at the forefront of adaptation planning, producing one of the first national climate change adaptation plans.
This gives us a good starting point for planning action and tracking how well we are adapting.
Adaptation is a long term challenge. Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is a central part of assessing the effectiveness of our efforts to tackle climate change by:
- ensuring our actions are coordinated to align with agreed national and local outcomes;
- capturing the effect of our actions over many years;
- identifying how our actions are impacting on national and local outcomes; and
- adjusting adaptation in response to changes.
A key element of the indicators relevance is tracking developments and trends over time.
Flooding is already a problem in both rural and urban areas. Research can help both planning how we deal with future flooding, and how we plan, build and manage our land to reduce the impact of flooding.
Demonstrations are a powerful means to promote and encourage adaptation to climate change.
On-the-ground, real-time demonstration of techniques and measures at specific locations creates a body of evidence about what works and helps to normalise adaptation actions.