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Climate Impacts Group Meeting Minutes, 25th October 2023

Attendees

Adrian Collins
Emily Reed
Doug Eltham
Stephen Swabey
Tom Dauben
Claire Below
John Amosford
Emmanuelle Marshall
Nick Paling
Paul Minshull
Penny Tranter
Richard Sweatman
Victoria Hatfield
Rothamsted Research
Devon Climate Emergency
Devon County Council (Natural Environment)
Council of the Isles of Scilly
Environment Agency
Cornwall Council
Public Health Devon
Plymouth City Council
South West Water
Cornwall Council
Met Office
Devon and Cornwall Police
Exeter City Council

Apologies

Mark Rice
Laurence Couldrick
Donna Sibley
Rhys Hobbs
Kirsty Hill
Kathryn Deeney
Ed Mellor
Amanda Palmer
Louise Sawyer
Claire Below
Harriet Googe
Jess Pryer
Alex Rainbow
George Arnison
Sara Gibbs
Paul Lunt
Richard Saville
Carolyn Cadman
Maria Van Hove
Jacqui Warren
Ruth Rockley
Stacy Griffiths
Anya Gopfert
James Cooper
James Kershaw
Lesley Newport
Zoe Sydenham
Environment Agency (Chair)
Westcountry Rivers Trust
Torridge District and North Devon Councils
Cornwall Council
Public Health Devon
Plymouth City Council
DCIoS Local Resilience Forum
Devon County Council (Public Health)
Devon and Cornwall Police
Cornwall Council
Environment Agency
Met Office
Cornwall Council
Environment Agency
Public Health Devon
University of Plymouth
Cornwall Council
South West Water
Public Health, Exeter University and Torbay Council
Torbay Council
Cornwall Council
Wales & West Utilities
Environment Agency / Torbay Council
Environment Agency
Devon County Council
Environment Agency
Plymouth City Council

1. Minutes of the previous meeting

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

2. Resilient Farming Futures Programme

Adrian Collins gave an overview of the programme. £8.2m funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. The project started in March 2023 and runs to March 2028.

Agroecosystem resilience is threatened by many stresses – global warming being one of them. The project will provide novel understanding and tools needed to improve resilience of the sector to four abiotic stresses: heat, drought, land saturation, and strong wind. It’s also looking at biotic stresses. It includes a weather generator using the latest global climate model for 2030 and 2050.

Stephen asked if there will be links with similar agricultural systems elsewhere in the world and suggested that New Zealand would be a useful comparator. Adrian said that the project itself doesn’t, but Rothamstead does and those connections will be used.

Tom asked whether there could be an opportunity to look at the resilience outcomes for communities within the catchments that are the subject of new agricultural practices. Adrian said this would be an exciting opportunity. Adrian and Tom will catch up.

John noted that the Devon, Cornwall and IoS Adaptation Strategy looks at opportunities as well as threats. Will the research look at the re-emergence of species etc? Adrian said it will, as well as the re-emergence of weeds.

Adrian will get back in touch with the Group when opportunities for input arise.

3. Final Version of the Climate Adaptation Strategy

Emily had circulated the final version of the Climate Adaptation Strategy ahead of this meeting.

Some of the partners said they have not yet had a chance to review the final version, but they were content with the suggested changes proposed in the consultation document, so don’t anticipate any issues.

It was AGREED to take the Adaptation Strategy to the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group on the 3rd November for approval. Subsequently, individual partners in Devon will be encouraged to endorse the document through their formal procedures.

Cornwall Council are taking the document through Cabinet in November also.

4. Adaptation Strategy Implementation Plan  

Emily said she is preparing a timetable of which theme’s risks will be brought to the Climate Impacts Group for review over the next year.

Emily is also working on a timetable for reviewing progress against the actions in the Action Plan on a rolling annual basis. Potential KPIs will be prepared for each action, too.  

Richard said there might some duplication of effort in reviewing risks, as some might be being managed by the Local Resilience Forum, so this relationship will need exploring.

ACTION: Emily and Richard to meet to discuss the overlap with the LRF.

John said that Public Health are looking at UK HSA data and indicators, some of which are relevant to adaptation.

ACTON: John and Emily to meet to discuss UK HSA data.

5. Funding

Maximising Adaptation to Climate Change grant is due to be launched by the UKRI and Defra. Emily is attending a webinar about this and will report back to the Group.

Tom said there EA has prepared maps showing the effect of climate change on some locations. But there are decisions to be made about how much detail to share publicly. There is a research call that could be useful to understand this. Tom would like to get people’s suggestions of locations.

ACTION: Tom to send Emily the slides for sharing with the Group.

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