Posted on 19/10/21 by Kristen Guida
Government response to the Climate Change Committee adaptation progress report On 19 October, Government published its response to the CCC’s 2021 report, Progress in adapting to climate change, providing feedback on each of the CCC’s recommendations. There are few surprises here, and many references to existing or ongoing work. Among the interesting points: In response to a recommendation to implement a programme of public engagement (a recommendation of both previous CCC progress reports that was rejected by government), Defra reports that it “intends to provide opportunities to involve the public in this conversation” as it embarks on planning to develop the third National Adaptation programme. Government will publish a nature recovery green paper in 2021. Defra is exploring the possibility of a water demand target under the Environment Bill, which would cover water demand and leakage in the household and non-household sectors. And DLUHC is reviewing the Decent Homes Standard to consider whether it needs to be updated to deliver what is required for safety and decency, considering external environments, energy efficiency, thermal comfort, and climate adaptation.
In related news, Government also published its Net Zero Strategy and Heat & Buildings Strategy.
Climate financial disclosures TCFD 2021 Status Report: The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) published its 2021 Status Report this month, providing an overview of the growth and current state of climate related disclosures by public companies. Disclosure increased more between 2019 and 2020 than in any previous year assessed, consistent with global momentum around climate-related reporting. However, progress is still needed, with only 50 percent of companies reviewed disclosing in alignment with at least three of the 11 recommended disclosures. Disclosure of the resilience of companies’ strategies under different climate scenarios was still the least-reported recommended disclosure, although this increased from five percent of companies in 2018 to 13 percent in 2020.
The Task Force reviewed the reports of 1651 public companies over three years, interviewed users and preparers of disclosures, consulted on proposed guidance, and sought input from rating agencies. Lessons learned include: the need for better data gathering to enable assessment of financial impact, the need for sufficient resources to develop decision-useful information in a timely way, the need to overcome institutional siloes to estimate financial impact effectively. As with previous reviews of the UK Adaptation Reporting Power, more than 90 percent of users found that disclosure of financial impacts was useful to their organisations. The TCFD is also providing supplemental guidance to overcome challenges related to impacts, metrics, and targets. In the UK in November 2020, the Chancellor announced government’s intention to mandate climate disclosures by large companies and financial institutions by 2025. In December 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority introduced new rules for companies with a UK premium listing to disclose climate-related risks and opportunities in line with the TCFD recommendations on a comply or explain basis.
Towards a More Equal City The World Resources Institute published its Seven Transformations for More Equitable and Sustainable Cities report, which synthesizes six years of research from 160 authors and reviewers. It presents a new vision for urban planning and development that can lead to better quality of life for underserved urban residents while generating citywide economic and environmental benefits. Seven crucial transformations and recommended actions for key actors show how to reimagine urban service provision, how to include the excluded, and how to create the enabling conditions for real, lasting change. As cities need to recover from COVID-19 and accommodate a projected 2.5 billion people by 2050, a lack of access to core urban services not only holds back individual livelihoods but also keeps everyone from contributing fully to the city by lowering productivity and causing poor health outcomes well as having disastrous environmental consequences and locking people into poverty for generations.
Job Opportunity: City of London is looking for an Environmental Resilience Officer (fixed term) to ensure that the Square Mile is fit for the future and continues to be the best place in the world to work and do business. Scroll down at this link to find the listing and apply. Or contact Janet if you’d like to find out more about the role.
Job Opportunity: Julie’s Bicycle is recruiting for two new Climate Change & Sustainability Specialists, one for the Museums and Galleries sector and the other for the Music industry (including commercial and subsidised music and festivals). Candidates will have strong knowledge of environment and climate: basics of the causes and consequences, key issues, solutions, and technologies, and about how to embed sustainable practice in operations, communications, and governance in cultural organisations and networks. More info and how to apply here.
HS2 and COP26: Resilient, reliable railway At this webinar on 9 November, HS2 will set out its approach for making the railway climate resilient. It will cover adaptation and resilience in Environmental Impact Assessment, integrating climate change into HS2 standards and design, flood risk prevention, and adaptation reporting. Register at the link.
Culture: the missing link – a lens on policy Solutions to the climate crisis have been led by scientists, politicians, economists and technologists. Yet the climate crisis is a cultural crisis, rooted in systems that favour some at the expense of others, and don’t account for many of the things that matter most: natural resources such as clean air, fresh water, healthy ecosystems, and human experiences of love, belonging, community and appreciation. This event, hosted by Julie’s Bicycle on 25 October, will bring together international conversations held earlier this year in the UK, Turkey, Indonesia, Colombia, Nigeria, and Italy. This is the culmination of a programme of work in partnership with The British Council as part of The Climate Connection, a global platform for dialogue, cooperation and action against climate change in the lead up to COP26. There will also be a discussion of Julie’s Bicycle’s new research mapping national arts policies to climate policies, which seeks to strengthen the creative climate movement and mobilise action rapidly. Use the link to find out more about an exciting line up of speakers and performers and to RSVP.