Posted on 10/01/20 by Kristen Guida
Happy new year and welcome to our first news update of the decade.
Remember to send us your news for the next quarterly update.
News and Recent Events
Aldersgate Group report: Using TCFDs to manage climate risk: next steps for UK government, investors, and business The Aldersgate Group published this report in October asserting that reporting aligned with the TCFD recommendations should be made mandatory on a “comply-or-explain” basis by the early 2020s for all companies currently reporting to the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting regime. In addition, Aldersgate says that TCFD reporting should be supported by the establishment of a Corporate Reporting Lab coordinated by government to enable the development of sector-level guidance.
2019 heatwaves led to nearly 900 excess deaths in England PHE released its monitoring report of 2019 heatwave mortality in November. London’s portion of that total is 223, just over half the number of deaths recorded for the 2018 summer. Find more information and analysis at the link.
Retrofitting for flood resilience A new RIBA guide by Edward Barsley seeks to help homeowners, design professionals, and policy makers understand the causes of flooding and take steps to retrofit resilience measures. It showcases design strategies at the catchment, community, street, and building scale, features case studies from around the world, and considers flood resilience in relation to existing communities as well as the design of new developments. Get your copy here.
Building regulations consultation open until 7 February there’s still time to respond to the Government’s consultation on Part L (conservation of fuel and power) of the building regulations. This consultation covers new homes and includes two options to raise the energy efficiency standards as a stepping stone to the Future Homes Standard. Find it here.
New climate change allowances for flood risk In December, the Environment Agency published updated guidance for developers and planners on how to account for climate change in their flood risk assessments. Main changes include updated sea level rise allowances based on UKCP18, improved clarity and usability of the guidance following a consultation with stakeholders, and amendments reflecting policy changes since the National Planning Policy Framework was updated in 2018. Find all the information here.
Opportunity: adaptive pathways for City of London The City of London Corporation is commissioning a Climate Resilience Adaptive Pathways Study. The study brief has now been issued with a deadline of 20th January for responses.
The Climate Emergency and the culture sector Julie’s Bicycle and Arts Council England team up and invite you to We Make Tomorrow: Creative Climate Action in a time of Crisis, a summit taking place on Wednesday 26th February at the Royal Geographical Society in London. This event will look at the political, demographic, economic and social forces driving our changing climate and devastating loss of nature, and explore how the arts and cultural sector can be galvanised towards net-zero while laying foundations for a more connected and just future society. Contributors will include renegade economist Kate Raworth, Committee on Climate Change Chief Executive Chris Stark, climate justice advocate Noga Levy-Rapoport, visual artist and Founder of INTERPRT Nabil Ahmed, and co-Founder and co-CEO of Repowering London Afsheen Kabir Rashid, among many others. Find out more and get tickets here.
Thames Water corporate responsibility and governance Thames Water has issued its Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2018/19. This report reflects the company’s nine sustainability themes and tells more of the story behind its operational performance for the year ending 31 March 2019.
Thames has also published its second Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) statement, based on four years of data to provide an assessment of its performance against key ESG measures. These include how its operations affect the natural environment; its relationships with suppliers, customers, and communities and impact on the economy; and how the business is governed – including leadership, remuneration, audits and internal control, and external shareholder dividends.
People Power in Emergencies In November, the British Red Cross published People Power in Emergencies: An assessment of voluntary and community sector engagement and human-centred approaches to emergency planning. The report’s main recommendation is for a review of the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act, so that the next Government enshrines in law the role of the voluntary and community sector in emergencies. The report, key findings and recommendations can be found here.
Opportunity: dual-award PhD scholarship This shared University of Manchester/University of Melbourne project, titled Fire and flood: mapping the dynamics of innovation for climate resilience in cities and regions, will explore innovation in response to climate change adaptation in cities. Beyond the basic “defensive resilience,” there is the challenge of “transformative resilience,” where whole cities may need to relocate, or whole regions to rethink their landscapes. The project will look at 100 Resilient Cities and other initiatives, and investigate the need for new governance, institutions, finance and markets, infrastructure, technology, and social change. Find out more here. Deadline for applications is 31 January.
Opportunity: embedded researcher scheme UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is calling for host organisations in business, industry, third sector, and policy to submit research and knowledge brokering ideas and receive up to 12 months’ support in the form of a researcher to jointly develop a project. Host organisations will gain from having a placement undertake a focused piece of work of direct benefit to their specific organisation. Projects should have a start date no later than 3 August 2020 and be up to 12 months. Up to five placements will be provided through this round, with another round following later in 2020. The deadline is 7 February. Find out more here.
Bank of England to stress test the financial stability implications of climate change In December the Bank of England published a discussion paper for consultation on its 2021 Biennial Exploratory Scenario (BES) exercise. The objective of the BES is to test the resilience of the largest banks and insurers to the physical and transition risks associated with different possible climate scenarios, and the financial system’s exposure more broadly to climate-related risk.
While climate-related risks will materialize over decades, actions today will affect the size of those future risks. It is therefore important that firms, and other stakeholders such as the Bank, continue to develop innovative approaches to measure climate-related risks before it is too late to ensure resilience to them. The BES will use exploratory scenarios to size these future risks and to explore how firms might respond to them, rather than testing firms’ capital adequacy.
The Bank is consulting on the design of the exercise and welcomes comments by 18 March. Find the documents and submit your views here.
SDG Architect – a board game about the Sustainable Development Goals Millennium Institute has launched SDG Architect, a board game where players develop and implement a strategy to achieve sustainable development. Players act as leaders of neighboring countries, and using resource cards representing investments, they make interventions designed to achieve the SDGs as quickly as possible. It’s a fun way of learning about sustainability, and the rules can be customized for differences in players’ age, experience, or playing time. It can be used in workshops, classrooms, team building exercises, or for family entertainment. For more information and to purchase the game, visit www.millennium-institute.org/product-page.
for more information about any events, contact Kristen unless otherwise specified.
22: Lessons learned: improving resilience in the utilities sector – briefing and networking reception, with speakers from Arup, Thames Water, Ofgem, and National Grid.
4: Keynote and Interactive Workshop: Future Resilience Challenges, with Gil Grein, Head of Global Resiliency at Facebook.
6: Breakfast briefing: Resilience Planning in the Rail Sector with Nick King, Group Director of Network Services, Network Rail.
4: Climate Risk Disclosure: implications and climate services for asset owners. Including speakers from National Trust, ClimateSense, BEIS, TFT, SHIFT, and more. At Futurebuild, Excel, London.
27: Health sector event: Managing Heat and Cold Risk. PHE Colindale.
21: Business sector event on climate risk and business adaptation. Details TBC