The business case for managing the impacts of severe weather and a changing climate

Date of the report

15 July 2015

Author of the report

Environment Agency Climate Ready team, in partnership with SWM and Climate UK

Purpose of the report

This report sets out a council business case for managing the cross-cutting impacts of severe weather and a changing climate, including the impacts of:

• flooding, storms and erosion
• heat waves and extreme cold
• water stress or drought

It is intended to provide council officers and members with information to draw out the costs and benefits of taking action. The report makes the case for developing climate resilience to be seen as a core council responsibility. The impacts of severe weather and a changing climate are so wide-ranging that developing climate resilience needs to be incorporated in all decision making, policy development and service delivery.

What SWM likes

The lack of statutory drivers and legislation for councils on adapting to climate change often, understandably, pushes climate change adaptation to the bottom of the pile.  This report, produced in partnership with SWM and Climate UK, aims to convince councils that there is a financial business case to adapt to climate change, providing a much needed incentive in times of austerity.  It outlines case studies and guidance that shows why councils should become more resilient, not just because of climate change, but because it makes good business sense.

We think that this report is particularly timely given the tough economic times councils face and the variable progress being made on adaptation highlighted in the recent Committee on Climate Change’s progress report.

This report was launched at a recent workshop that we ran with local authorities in Birmingham.

Links and contact information

The report can be accessed here.