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Climate Change: South East

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent assessment he has made of the likely effects of climate change on (a) Hertfordshire and (b) the South East in the next 10 years. (289428)

In 2005, the regional climate change partnerships, working with the UK Climate Impacts Programme, published ‘Measuring Progress’. The report assessed the impacts of climate change by region, including the East and the South East, and included some indicative assessments of the impacts on activities from climate change.

On 18 June 2009, the Government published the latest UK Climate Projections. These projections show the potential changes in climate for the UK for a range of probabilities, climate variables and emissions scenarios. Results can give detail down to a 25 kilometre square grid. This data are freely available to all to make their own assessments of the likely effects of climate change. To support organisations in using the projections, the Government are providing a training package, Projections in Practice, which includes a programme of events in each region. Regional events have been organised in coordination with regional climate change partnerships. The events in the East of England will be held from 12-16 October 2009, and the events in the South East of England are from 2-6 November 2009.

Looking to the future, work has now begun on the first statutory national Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA), to report by January 2012. All regions will have an important input.

Alongside this work, the Government have now begun the Adaptation Economic Assessment, which will analyse the high level economic costs and benefits of adapting to climate change in the UK. The project will include information by English region, but not by individual county boundary. It is also due to report in 2012.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he plans to take to assist people in (a) Hertfordshire and (b) the South East to adapt their domestic circumstances to take account of the effects of climate change. (289443)

The aim of the Government’s Adapting to Climate Change Programme is to help people adapt to the effects of climate change by providing robust evidence on the effects of climate change and embedding adaptation into policies, plans and programmes. The programme seeks to achieve this by building capacity in organisations who are the most able to take long term adaptation decisions. This includes local Government via mechanisms such as National Indicator 188—Planning to Adapt to Climate Change—within the local Government performance framework to enable them to support individuals to adapt to future climate changes through local programmes.

On 18 June 2009, the Government published the latest UK Climate Projections. These projections show the potential changes in climate for the UK for a range of probabilities, climate variables and emissions scenarios. This data are freely available to all to make their own assessments of the likely effects of climate change. To support organisations in using the projections, the Government are providing a training package, Projections in Practice, which started in July and runs until March 2010. The programme includes a series of national events for specific sectors and also includes, from September, a programme of events in each region, including the South East and East of England.

To support adaptation locally and regionally, the Government have established a local and regional programme managed by a board of key local and regional organisations. The South East regional partnership, Climate South East, is represented on the board, as are regional climate change partnerships as a whole. The board manages a small programme of projects to develop guidance and tools to help local authorities, regional climate change partnerships and others to support communities to take account of the effects of climate change.

The Climate Change Partnership for the East of England has been working closely with representatives from Hertfordshire. It has had particular advice and support from the sustainability team at Hertfordshire county council in shaping and defining the partnership and its work programme activities.

Further information on the board and the Government’s Adapting to Climate Change Programme is located on the Programme website at:

www.defra.gov.uk/adaptation