Home > News > SWM News

West Midlands Climate Change Adaptation Plan published today

SWM, in collaboration with the Environment Agency, has today published a climate change adaptation plan for the West Midlands.

The plan, which includes 76 actions to address 43 climate related risks to the region, acts as a catalyst to action on climate adaptation, in light of increasing severity and frequency of extreme weather and the expected trend to more of the same in future. It provides decision makers, senior leaders and funders with a framework to help them invest in adaptation solutions in the right places, and helps to guide the responses that are likely to be required to ensure our natural environment, people, infrastructure, buildings and businesses are prepared for the impacts of climate change, including greater incidence and severity of flooding, a higher likelihood of water scarcity and more intense and prolonged heatwaves.

Despite pledges by central Government, the West Midlands Combined Authority and our local authorities on meeting Net Zero carbon by the latest 2050, the reality is that our climate will change to some degree anyway, with the only uncertainty being to what extent. The actions in the plan look to complement Net Zero actions and other activity aligned with our 2030 Roadmap. A simple example would be to ensure the various tree planting schemes not only benefit Net Zero and biodiversity objectives, but can also help to alleviate flooding and provide cooling in urban centres.

The next step will be to ensure that SWM continues the momentum by engaging with leaders in the region who have the powers to implement some of the suggested actions.

Alan Carr, Senior Sustainability Adviser at SWM said: “We now know that our efforts with greenhouse gas mitigation will not be enough to stop the climate from changing to at least some extent. We’re already seeing more flooding, temperature records broken and more erratic weather – you don’t have to be a climate scientist to realise what’s going on.  Despite this, there is a chronic lack of action on adaptation both nationally and regionally, which is why we have produced this plan. We hope that it will provide the kick-start required, building on existing efforts, to ensure effective adaptation actions can take place.”

We are aware that some of the actions in the plan may already have been considered by national and local decision-makers. In that case, we welcome and, indeed, insist that we are made aware of these so that we can ensure the plan is continuously updated. Please email SWM at enquiries@swm.org.uk to provide any relevant information.

You can download the plan from here

We’re also running a briefing webinar on 27 January 2022 on the key findings of the Plan and next steps. You can book here.

Related content