Briefing for Councillors

Notes

The notes below serve  to illustrate the points made in the motion

  1. ‘. Burning fossil fuels poses a serious risk to the stability of the climate upon which our well-being and economy depend.’

“Lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today. Climate change is one of the single biggest challenges facing development, and we need to assume the moral responsibility to take action on behalf of future generations, especially the poorest”

Jim Yong Kim World Bank President, 2012

 

What are the impacts of climate change?

We have already seen global warming of over 1°C.[1] This is resulting in increasingly severe impacts[2] – from rapidly melting sea ice at the poles[3] and 50 degree heat waves in India[4], to floods in Louisiana[5] and drought in California.[6]

The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment Evidence Report 2017 NationalSummary – England[7] states:

On Infrastructure: “Flooding poses the greatest long-term risk to infrastructure performance from climate change, but the growing risks from heat, water scarcity and slope instability caused by severe weather could be significant.”

On Health: “The CCRA Evidence Report highlights the need for additional action in the next five years in England to address the risks to health and wellbeing from heat, cold, and flooding.”

On Business: “Flooding and extreme weather events which damage assets and disrupt business operations pose the greatest risk to English businesses now and in the future.”

On Natural environment and natural assets: “Climate change poses risks in England to soils, freshwater resources, natural carbon stores, marine ecosystems, farming, forestry, wildlife and habitats. More action is needed to manage these risks.”

On “The international dimension” : “Climate change will impact upon on water security, agricultural production and economic resources around the world. These impacts can in turn exacerbate risks from conflict, migration, and humanitarian crises abroad, with implications for the UK.”

 For full briefing see Councillor Briefing for motion

 

[1] Over pre-industrial levels. See ttps://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature for detail

[2] https://phys.org/news/2016-11-climate-extreme-weather-events-worse.html

[3] https://sites.google.com/site/arctischepinguin/home/global-sea-ice

[4] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3600314/Indian-city-hits-51-degrees-setting-new-heat-record.html

[5] http://www.nola.com/weather/index.ssf/2016/08/louisiana_flood_of_2016_result.html

[6] http://earthsky.org/earth/drought-continues-california-november-2016

[7] ASC (2016) UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017 Evidence Report – Summary for England. Adaptation sub-Committee of the Committee on Climate Change, London.