The impacts of climate change on population groups in Scotland

Climate-related hazards and their impact on people and communities vary across Scotland. This project explored which, if any, population groups are disproportionately affected by flooding, high temperature and poor air quality, how they are affected now and potential impact in the future.

Identifying and, if necessary, addressing the disproportionate risk faced by the most vulnerable is therefore a central component of a just approach to climate adaptation.

Main findings

Many of the most important drivers of social vulnerability affect vulnerability to all hazards considered in this report – flooding, high temperatures and poor air quality. Recognising this presents an opportunity to enhance resilience to multiple climate hazards through targeted action and adaptation.

Climate-related disadvantage is often driven by a limited capacity to appropriately prepare for and recover from, hazard events eg flooding or heat waves. Supporting the most socially vulnerable to make property-level adaptations, including those in rented accommodation, would reduce the negative outcomes when exposed to a hazard.

These findings are relevant to developing climate change adaptation policy under the Scottish National Adaptation Plan.

Related links

Scottish National Adaptation Plan