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Climate Impacts Group Meeting Minutes, 19th December 2022

Attendees

Mark Rice
Emily Reed
Doug Eltham
Alex Rainbow
George Arnison
Charles Ffoulkes
Tom Dauben 
Harriet Googe
Hannah Oliver
Emmanuelle Marshall
Paul Lunt
Rhys Hobbs
Richard Saville
Stephen Swabey
Penny Tranter
Mike Waller
Louise Sawyer
Environment Agency 
Climate Emergency 
Devon County Council (Environment) 
Cornwall Council 
Environment Agency 
RSK ADAS 
Environment Agency 
Environment Agency 
RSK ADAS 
Plymouth City Council 
University of Plymouth 
Cornwall Council 
Cornwall Council 
Council of the Isles of Scilly 
Met Office 
Devon County Council (Environment) 
Devon and Cornwall Police 

Apologies

Carolyn Cadman
Dai Morriss
Paul Minshull
Sara Gibbs
Stacy Griffiths
Victoria Hatfield
Andrew McArthur
Laurence Couldrick
Maria Van Hove
Nick Paling 
Anya Gopfert
Neil Hamlyn
Ruth Rockley
Thomas Cunningham
Lesley Newport
James Cooper
James Kershaw
Jacqui Warren
South West Water 
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service 
Cornwall Council 
Public Health Devon 
Wales & West Utilities  
Exeter City Council 
RSK 
Westcountry Rivers Trust 
Exeter University and Torbay Council 
South West Water 
Environment Agency / Torbay Council 
Local Resilience Forum 
Cornwall Council 
Devon and Cornwall Police 
Environment Agency 
Environment Agency 
Devon County Council 
Torbay Council 

1. Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as an accurate record.

2. Cornwall Climate Risk Assessment 

Rhys Hobbs introduced the Cornwall Climate Risk Assessment Report, which was published in November. This compliments the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan. Rhys described the process for its creation. It is separated into five publications, plus a summary version: 

The Council has developed a Local Climate Adaptation Tool to help decision makers to understand the health implications of climate change. 

The Council is also developing a Climate Risk Adaptation Strategy. This will help Cornwall prepare for changes outlined in the Climate Risk Assessment Report. The Adaptation Strategy is expected to be prepared by Spring 2024.  

Stephen asked if the role for communities and individuals will be incorporated later. Rhys said it will be, but that the focus initially is on the strategic issues. 

The Group noted that the process and communication tools being used for this Cornwall work will be useful to replicate for the DCIoS Strategy and Action Plan. Caution was urged by Penny and Stephen to ensure the meteorological terminology used is consistent with international definitions and also unambiguous to avoid misunderstandings about changes to climate vs impacts.  

The Group provided feedback on points of detail to Rhys.  

3. Update on Next Stage for Member Input to the DCIoS Adaptation Options 

Charles advised that the adaptation options have been refined following the workshops. These will be circulated for comment from Group members.   

ACTION: Emily to circulate adaptation options for comment from all by 9th January.  

4. Consultation Sign-Off Process in the Three Areas

Stephen and Rhys reported that a decision on consulting on the DCIoS Strategy in Cornwall and the IoS will need to be taken by the Cabinet of the two councils.  

Doug said that in Devon the decision would be taken by the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group on behalf of the partnership. 

Emily asked if Cornwall and IoS could schedule consideration for February? Stephen and Rhys will report back.  

ACTION: Stephen and Rhys to determine the timescale for cabinet consideration of the draft Risk Register, Adaptation Strategy and Adaptation Plan.  

ACTION: Emily to consider how this affects the timetable for publication.  

5. Future Governance for Adaptation

Charles prompted a discussion about the future governance of the Climate Impacts Group once the DCIoS documents are published.  

Doug said that assuming the Group will continue, then Devon CC is able to continue providing the secretariat with the Environment Agency to operate the Group, however this may not feel right for other partners due to the Devon focus of Devon CC. If that’s the case, perhaps regional bodies such as the Environment Agency or Devon and Cornwall Police would consider taking on the secretariat function.  

Mark said the Environment Agency needs to continue to be active in this sector and could consider providing the secretariat. 

Rhys said the LRF may take it on. Emily said that the LRF is primarily involved in planning to respond to events once they have happened rather than increasing resilience over a longer time-scale. Doug confirmed that the LRF have said in recent conversations they do not see holistic climate adaptation planning as their remit.  

Tom recommended that the actions in the Adaptation Plan need to be embedded in responsible organisation delivery/business plans. There was a general agreement with this approach.  

ACTION: Mark and Emily to meet to discuss options for the secretariat.

6. Climate Emergency UK Grading  

Emily reported to the Group that there is a scoring point on offer within the Climate Emergency UK local authority grading for local authorities that have published a risk assessment by the end of January 2023. Emily asked if the Group could publish the latest Climate Risk Assessment.  

The Group determined that the assessment should not be published until the relevant decision-making bodies have given approval, which will be February at the earliest.  

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