Holes in Scottish climate change data

3rd November 2016

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  • Adaptation ,
  • Mitigation ,
  • Reporting ,
  • Carbon Trading


Craig Taylor

Scotland needs to do more to ensure that measures to adapt to climate change are effective and that the risks are being adequately managed.

In its first assessment of progress to prepare Scotland for global warming, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said there was a lack of evidence to assess whether the country’s vulnerability to the effects was increasing, remaining constant or decreasing.

Lord Krebs, chair of the CCC’s adaptation sub-committee, said: ‘A lot of action is under way to prepare for the impacts of climate change but it’s not clear what’s being achieved and whether risks are being adequately managed.’

The committee said it had beeen able to assess progress in only three areas. It concluded that, although ambitious plans were in place to protect Scotland’s natural environment from the impacts of climate change, more needed doing to ensure the Scottish government’s ambitions were realised. It highlighted continuing problems with deep peat soils, with one-third showing signs of erosion and an estimated 16% completely bare of any peat-forming vegetation.

The CCC acknowledged recent action to improve flood protection and that steps had been taken to improve the resilience of Scotland’s infrastructure in severe weather. However, existing datasets were insufficient to judge whether enough progress was being made to counter the impacts of climate change, it concluded.

The other measure the committee evaluated was the risks from extreme weather to people, and to the health and social care system. It said these had not been adequately studied. It also advised policymakers to better understand the support business might need to take advantages of the opportunities arising from climate change.


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