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Destination resilient

24 March, 2023

Irrespective of whether we’re heading towards 1.5C of warming, 2C, or more, climate change is already here and we’re seeing weather events become more extreme and frequent as a result. The very first figure of the recent IPCC AR6 Synthesis Report shows all the human and natural systems that are already adversely affected. The flooding in Pakistan, wildfires in California and Arctic heatwaves are just some recent examples.

We need to do everything we can to stem the flow of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere through intense decarbonisation of businesses and nations. And while the quantity of emissions in the atmosphere is important, there should also be a lens on the human impact of climate change. This human impact is something that we can manage additionally, by making ourselves less vulnerable to the impacts of climate change through adaptation.

Climate adaptation and resilience has been rising up agendas recently, and this week we were interested to see it being tackled head-on by Transport for London (TfL) through its first climate adaptation plan. Transport contributes 37% of global emissions but is also at the front line of feeling the impacts of extreme weather events, as many people trying to use the London Underground in February, July, August and November 2022 found out.

While lots of the focus of the new plan is on data collection, staff training, better weather forecasting and embedding climate risk into capital projects, it will also see the building of sustainable drainage systems, green roofs, and tree planting. As well as making the city more attractive and nature-rich, these steps will put London’s transport infrastructure in a better position to keep the city moving when extreme weather strikes.

Climate adaptation is a new frontier for climate strategy, and we commend organisations driving forward to protect themselves and customers from the impacts of climate change.

By Patrick Bapty

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