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Climate change partnership Highland Adapts to be showcased during COP26 in Glasgow by Highland Council officers


By Louise Glen

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Climate Change.
Climate Change.

The organisers of a community-led initiative that hopes to tackle climate change in the Highlands has been invited to speak at COP26

The Highland Adapts initiative, which aims to develop a partnership approach to climate change adaptation, is delighted to have the opportunity to showcase its objectives during COP26.

COP26 which takes place in Glasgow is set to limit temperature rise to 1.5 per cent by agreeing measures that will be taken across the planet.

A Highland Council spokeswoman said: "Our climate in Highland is changing, over the last century temperatures have increased, sea levels have risen, and rainfall patterns have changed, with increased seasonality and more heavy downpours.

"The changes are projected to continue and intensify over the coming decades.

"We can expect future changes in climate to be far greater than anything we have seen in the past.

"Even if the world achieved net zero tomorrow, we’d still be locked into disruptive climate extremes and trends for decades, we must get used to increasing change – to become more adaptive."

Chairwoman of Highland Council’s climate change working group, Councillor Trish Robertson said: “Our changing climate brings both opportunities and risks.

"Taking early action to adapt will help increase resilience and reduce risks.

"There are many consequences that may occur from the impacts of climate change from the security of our food supply to the availability and quality of water and from changes in our coast to the health and well-being of people.

“It is imperative we work together to get climate ready, ensuring no one and nowhere is left behind.

" To this end, Highland Adapts has been established to drive forward a partnership, place-based approach to climate change adaptation in Highland. “

The objectives of the initiative are to build up the evidence base, working with subject experts and communities to develop detailed climate risk assessments and identify key actions then support our public, private and community sectors to invest, design and implement the priority projects.

Principal project manager Emma Whitham is looking forward to talking about the initiative to delegates as part of COP26.

She has an invitation to present at the Resilience Hub in the Blue Zone, the UN-managed space which hosts the negotiations and also at the ‘Leading For Climate Resilience’ event at the Glasgow City Chamber.

She said: “Highland adapts requires everyone to get involved. Our structure is inclusive and is designed in a way to enable all voices to be heard, with strong lines of accountability, communication, and support.

"Partnership working, built on solid relationships, a shared vision with endless hope, passion and commitment, is the key to enabling and supporting the transformational action that is required to get Highland climate ready.”

Leader of Highland Council, Councillor Margaret Davidson said: "Highland Adapts is one of the most exciting and inspirational climate action initiatives taking place right now, anywhere in Scotland so it is terrific that Emma will have the chance to highlight the work to a world-wide audience. It embraces the fact that community needs to be at the heart of our response to the climate emergency, and I'm certain it is going to deliver transformational change for the Highland region and may inspire others to follow our lead."

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