Climate Just website maps England’s climate disadvantage ‘hot spots’

Posted on 4/02/15 by Chrysostomos Meli

The impacts of climate change will not be equal or fair and, without action, could increase existing disadvantage. This message was reinforced in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th Assessment report1. And now for the first time in England, on a publicly available website, we are able to see this effect mapped across the country at a neighbourhood level. Climate Just, a powerful new website with mapping tool, has been launched today by Climate UK and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, in partnership with the Environment Agency and the University of Manchester.

The website aims to help practitioners in England to address issues of social disadvantage and climate change. It provides detailed mapping of ‘hot spots’ across the country, and a huge amount of supporting information, tools and resources to support fairer decision-making and policy creation.

New tool for planning

Climate Just has been developed to support people working with vulnerable groups in a range of public services and other agencies. In particular, it will provide assistance to people working in spatial planning, housing, public health, social care, and environment roles as well as local resilience fora.

Katharine Knox, Programme Manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said:

Climate change risks compounding existing disadvantage and inequality in the UK. We want to support those with a role in responses to better understand how to take account of these issues. The Climate Just website highlights both what makes people vulnerable and which places may be most climate disadvantaged. We hope this will help organisations to better understand the issues and the actions they can take to respond, whether through community engagement and awareness raising to increase resilience, or direct measures for example to improve flood protection or tackle fuel poverty.

Mike Peverill, Director of Climate UK said:

This is an important new resource for tackling climate change in the UK and we have been privileged to manage its development. Climate Just enables us to develop local responses that are fair for everyone, as well as reducing our emissions and increasing resilience. As was highlighted in the Marmot Review, ‘tackling social inequalities in health and tackling climate change must go together’.

Climate UK’s network of public service providers are already dedicated to tackling the issue of climate change. Climate Just gives them the evidence and tools to refine those responses and ensure that they are socially just.

Kit England, Chair of the Core Cities Working Group on Climate Resilience and Adaptation, and who works for climate resilience at Newcastle City Council said:

The Core Cities are delighted that the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have undertaken this work. Climate Just is a fantastic resource that will enable councils to understand the climate disadvantage in their area and respond accordingly, planning for a changing climate whilst also creating a more equal society.

Tackling inequalities is a big priority for Newcastle and the City Council has been fortunate to help advise on the tool’s development and pilot the evidence in a range of uses; its accessibility and clarity makes it very straightforward to apply to a range of scenarios such as flood risk management and local planning.