adapting to climate change: local and global perspectives

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Presentation by Dr Simon Gerrard to Norfolk Climate Change Conference March 27th 2009


  • 1. Adapting to Climate Change: Local and Global Perspectives Dr Simon Gerrard Chief Technical Officer Low Carbon Innovation Centre
  • 2. 2C 5C?
  • 3. What effects are predicted?
      • UKCIP02
        • The UK will continue to get warmer
        • Hotter, drier summers with more very hot summer days and droughts
        • Milder, wetter winters with more bouts of heavy precipitation and floods
        • Sea levels will continue to rise; storm surges becoming more frequent
      • UK CIP08 scenarios coming soon!
  • 4. Impacts in Norfolk
      • Agriculture; food preparation and storage
      • Tourism
      • Built environment working/home/transport
      • Outdoor vs. indoor
      • Logistics and supply chains
      • Finance - insurance
    Living with Climate Change in the East of England. East of England Sustainability Round Table. 2002
  • 5. Response of wider systems
      • SEMBE Scenarios
        • Co-evolution of social, political, economic, technological and environmental drivers
        • Climate change, energy security, and fuel poverty are key drivers
        • Range of decarbonisation mechanisms
    Foresight Sustainable Energy Management and the Built Environment Project (2008). Final Project Report. The Government Office for Science, London.
  • 6. Scenarios Will the world be open, interdependent and multi-lateral in outlook or will fragmentation occur, with strongly independent states or regions engaging in bi-lateral approaches? Will the focus of future investments and innovation in the UK favour disruptive new technologies which stimulate new systems, or technologies targeted on exploitation of existing systems?
  • 7. Norfolk - a resourceful region?
      • Fortress Norfolk mentality will help create local focus on energy security
      • Opportunity for trade in 2 nd generation biofuel from agriculture though food supplies take precedence
      • Retrofitting existing buildings is a major challenge
      • Rural characteristics and low population density are beneficial
  • 8. Norfolk a sunshine state?
      • Local focus is strong
      • Significant opportunities for innovation (Norwich Research Park; Hethel Engineering Centre etc.)
      • Increased carbon literacy through smart metering
      • Carbon trading system proposed for Rackheath Eco-town is extended county-wide
      • Opportunity for trade in 2 nd generation biofuel from agriculture though food supplies take precedence
      • New community structures empower local focus on decision-making
  • 9. Norfolk greener growth?
      • Norfolk contributes to large scale renewable energy generation (UEA, Rackheath & Power House biomass; offshore wind)
      • Rackheath Eco-town is a demonstrator for the nation, Europe and rest of the world
      • Eco-innovation hub(s) on the Norwich Research Park
      • Stimulated by widespread community engagement, Norwich, market towns and coastal areas are demonstration test-beds for new approaches to reduce carbon emissions and adapt to climate change
      • Norfolk pride in eco-innovation taken worldwide
  • 10. Norfolk creative carbon?
      • Carbon capture and storage industry takes off in Norfolk offshore (gas fields) and onshore (biochar)
      • Carbon management expertise at UEA, Research Park, Hethel provides a focal point.
      • London is the centre of world carbon trading but some carbon specialists in finance industry relocate to Norfolk.
      • Limited opportunity for urban renewal projects (Anglia Square?) for new mixed use developments.
      • New low carbon community at Rackheath inspires others throughout Norfolk.
  • 11. Climate Change Threat or Opportunity?
      • Need to act now
        • Norfolk playing catch-up on climate change strategy but is well placed to capitalise on opportunities
        • Innovation in energy and agri-sectors
        • New opportunities in carbon finance
      • Significant local threats from sea level rise and flooding
      • Ageing building stock, population and agriculture are vulnerable to hotter summer temperatures
      • Disruption to global systems (energy, food, supply chains) will impact Norfolk
      • Need widespread public engagement programme to generate and maintain momentum