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Climate Impacts Group Meeting Minutes, 29th November 2023

Attendees

Emily Reed
Doug Eltham
Stephen Swabey
Claire Below
John Amosford
Carolyn Cadman
Kathryn Deeney
Nick Paling
Paul Minshull
Penny Tranter
Richard Sweatman
Alex Rainbow
George Arnison
Devon Climate Emergency
Devon County Council (Natural Environment)
Council of the Isles of Scilly
Cornwall Council
Public Health Devon
South West Water
Plymouth City Council
South West Water
Cornwall Council
Met Office
Devon and Cornwall Police
Cornwall Council
Environment Agency

Apologies

Mark Rice
Victoria Hatfield
Tom Dauben
Laurence Couldrick
Donna Sibley
Rhys Hobbs
Louise Sawyer
Harriet Googe
Jess Pryer
Sara Gibbs
Paul Lunt
Richard Saville
Maria Van Hove
Zoe Sydenham
Environment Agency (Chair)
Exeter City Council
Environment Agency
Westcountry Rivers Trust
Torridge District and North Devon Councils
Cornwall Council
Devon and Cornwall Police
Environment Agency
Met Office
Public Health Devon
University of Plymouth
Cornwall Council
Public Health, Exeter University and Torbay Council
Plymouth City Council

1. Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as an accurate record.  All action points have been implemented.

2. Climate Risk and the Local Resilience Forum (LRF)

Richard gave an overview of how the work to date of the Climate Impacts Group is informing the work of the LRF.

LRFs aim to plan and prepare for localised incidents and catastrophic emergencies. They also identify potential risks and produce emergency plans to either prevent or mitigate the impact of any incident on their local communities.

The National Risk Register (2023) identifies climate change as a ‘chronic risk’. This means it’s considered to have a continuous, substantial impact on the UK’s safety, security and or critical systems at a national level over longer timeframe than acute risks. The National Risk Register (NRR) has been reviewed every three years but is now moving to a more dynamic process. It’s the public-facing version of the National Security Risk Assessment.  The LRFs produce a Community Risk Register, based on the NRR.

Risks relating to climate – heatwave, drought, low temperatures, various types of flooding etc are included in the Community Risk Register.

The Climate Impacts Group can help identify how climate risk is changing, identify emerging risks, help identify capability gaps and advise responders on where capabilities may be required. Helping to leverage preparedness in key organisations will also be very helpful.

George suggested that coastal erosion should be included the Community Risk Register alongside coastal flooding considering the implication for the peninsula from events such as the Dawlish rail line. Paul added local cliff falls. Doug added the impact of coastal erosion on the South West Coast Path and coastal infrastructure such as the A379 at Slapton is significant.

Some members of the Group felt that coastal erosion should be raised with the LRF. Penny said Dorset LRF have done some work on this, so worth contacting them.

ACTION: George will speak to Dave Trevains, the Environment Agency’s representative on the LRF, in the first instance.

3. Final Version of the Climate Adaptation Strategy

Emily said that the Climate Adaptation Strategy was published successfully on the 27th November. There are also resources for individuals, communities and policy makers on the website.

ACTION: All to let Emily know of any other resources that should be on there.

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. Five – seven risks will be brought to each meeting so that each risk gets reviewed once throughout the year by theme.

Emily is also working on a timetable for reviewing progress against the short-term actions in the Action Plan on a rolling basis. Potential KPIs will be prepared for each action, too, which Emily would like input from Climate Impacts Group members about.  Each action will receive attention twice each year.

ACTION: All to provide information about activity ongoing that can demonstrate progress on particular actions, and ideas for KPIs.

Carolyn said that South West Water collate various KPIs about the health of the water environment which can be considered for inclusion in the reports.

5. AOB

None.

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