Climate Change Adaptation Report

Author(s): Hannah Fluck

The statutory requirement on Government Agencies to provide a report on climate change adaptation, as part of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP), arises from the Climate Change Act 2008. However, we should not see contributing as an imposed additional task, but rather an opportunity to think differently and review existing practices and processes. Many adaptations provide benefits that go beyond providing resilience to climate change related impacts. Our climate is changing and organisations need to adapt to these changes, to become more resilient to the challenges and to make the most of the opportunities. There is international recognition of the importance of preparedness for climate change in the heritage sector, with a number of UNESCO publications; and Historic England’s own publication record reflects a long-standing consideration of the impacts of a changing climate upon England’s heritage. This report considers the impacts of the changing climate upon Historic England as an organisation, both in its management of personnel, facilities and equipment and with regard to its role as champion of England’s heritage. It identifies key risks and opportunities based upon looking at how our organisation has been affected by weather-related impacts in the past, how the climate is projected to change in the future, and what impact this will have on our work. It then outlines how Historic England can begin to adapt to the future challenges of a changing climate. In summary, this report identifies twelve risks relating to heritage advice, and five risks relating to organisational operations as well as eight opportunities for furthering Historic England’s key function as champion of England’s heritage. To begin to address these risks, and make the most of these opportunities, the report recommends the following adaptive measures: 1. Maintain a ‘watching brief’ on climate change projections and their associated environmental impacts; 2. Support measures to increase workforce resilience; 3. Support measures to increase resilience in the historic environment; 4. Embed climate change adaptation and environmental risk management within projects and practices; 5. Promote the positive role the historic environment can play in informing responses to climate change and associated environmental risks; 6. Develop an approach for dealing with inevitable change, including loss; 7. Support the English Heritage Trust in addressing climate change impacts.

Report Number:
Research Report
Climate Change


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