First ever UK climate workshops open in South West

by Stephen Hurrell. Published Mon 14 Sep 2009 13:59
The workshops could help businesses adapt to flooding

The first ever climate change workshops to appear in Britain begin today in the South West of England.

Businesses and other organisations are being offered the free workshops to help them develop plans for climate change in the South West.

The workshops, called UK Climate Projections in Practice, will run from Monday 14th to Friday 18th September, at Somerset College of Arts and Technology (SCAT) in Taunton.

In addition to a number of open workshops, specific workshops are being offered for local authorities, planners, flood and coastal risk management practitioners, and those working in nature conservation.

The workshops are a response to the UK Government’s climate change projections announced three months ago. The projections estimate the average summer temperature in the South West could be 3.5 degrees Celsius warmer.

Global warming could cause greater swings in weather patterns. By 2050 there could be 19 percent less rainfall in summer and 17 percent more in winter. This could lead to water shortages in summer and flooding in winter.

The workshops are being run by Defra, UK Climate Change Impacts Partnership (UKCIP), South West Climate Change Impacts Partnership (SWCCIP) and Government Office for the South West.

The week of events kicks off today with talks from Mark Filley from Defra’s Adapting to Climate Change Unit, Emma Whittlesea from South West Tourism and Ron Curtis, from the Environment Agency.
Alex Webb, SWCCIP Manager, said: “There are also nine sessions that will provide detailed training on how to develop business opportunities out of climate change. In the UK we are likely to face hotter, drier summers and warmer, wetter winters and more extreme weather events such as flooding, drought and heat waves.”

“We've all got to learn to adapt to climate change. For businesses, it should be seen as a vital part of on going business continuity planning. These events will enable businesses in the South West to get expert advice from some of the leading experts on climate change.”

More than 300 people have already booked places across the nine events.

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