The Cheltenham Climate Change Forum

....Future developments in the SW region


We can now embark on the next stage of the climate change initiative in the South West.

Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education (CGCHE) has worked in partnership with the Centre for Climate Change Impact Forecasting (C-CLIF) to put together a project proposal and funding package for the South West UKCIP study. This will be called 'Potential Impacts of Climate Change in the South West of England'. It will be undertaken jointly by CGCHE and C-CLIF with specific projects sub-contracted to areas of expertise within these institutions, and other organisations as appropriate. The study will be split into two main phases.

Phase One: Scoping Study

The first stage will be to undertake a 'scoping study' in order to define the problem and develop responses. This will provide UKCIP with a study similar to those which have already been produced for other UK regions. This phase builds upon the work already achieved in the South West through two conferences and follow up work. It will:

a) bring together a steering committee to oversee the project. This committee will include representatives from a number of regional organisations
b) produce an update on the recent past climate in the South West
c) produce climate scenarios for the South West for the 2020's, 2050's and 2080's
d) identify the impacts and opportunities of climate change within a number of sectors
e) identify vulnerable areas within the region
f) identify and involve key stakeholders and the issues affecting them
g) consider the economic effects of climate change
h) propose further steps to improve our detailed knowledge of individual impacts in separate sectors and to 'fill in' the gaps in existing information.

Phase Two: Detailed Follow-up Studies

The second stage will be to undertake more detailed studies in response to outputs identified within the scoping study. This phase will encompass:

a) More comprehensive studies of the main impacts of climate change as identified by the scoping study e.g. the impact of recent flooding on local communities and the response of insurance sector and bodies such as the Environment Agency
b) Socio-economic scenarios- the vulnerability of the region to climate change depends on the sensitivity of social and ecological systems and on society's capacity and willingness to adapt. Regional socio-economic scenarios would be produced based on the UKCIP national scenarios to describe future economic activity, population, settlement patterns and technological capabilities
c) Costing the impacts of climate change - these will evaluate a monetary estimate of costs with or without adaptation to climate change. These costings would be for regional climate change impacts for example:

  • the closure of the Dawlish-Teignmouth Railway line x days per year due to extreme weather events and the impact on sectors within the region (tourism, services and business etc)
  • irrigation bans on agriculture
  • increasingly stringent effluent standards for dischargers in the region.

d) Coastal cell evolution and catchment flood plans - research into the impact of climate change on vulnerable coastal cells within the region and on catchment areas vulnerable to flooding.

Outputs Phase One
a) a detailed technical summary for key decision makers,
b) a summary report for the wider group
c) copies of any new data sets created and of all documents produced to be made available to UKCIP.
d) a conference or series of workshops to disseminate the outcomes of Phase One and develop particular projects for Phase Two. Outputs Phase Two
e) detailed technical reports on each of the studies,
f) summary reports on each of the studies for wider dissemination
g) a series of workshops to update relevant groupings on the outcomes of individual studies in Phase Two to provide stakeholder feedback,
h) copies of any new data sets created and of all documents produced to be made available to UKCIP.

a) The study will cover the counties and unitary authority areas of: Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay, Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole, Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire, Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and Gloucestershire.
b) The study will consider impacts for the years 2020, 2050 and 2080 (the UKCIP scenarios), and will include:

  • water resources, flood defence and coastal issues;
  • key economic sectors such as: tourism, sport and recreation, agriculture and horticulture, forestry, minerals, utilities and transport, house building;
  • ecosystems and natural resources including: soils, water, flora and fauna, landscape, natural processes;
  • cultural heritage, buildings, archaeology, artefacts.

Timescale and Funding
Phase One will be initiated as soon as funding is in place and the steering group appointed. Completion is anticipated for the end of March 2002. Phase Two will be initiated during 2001. Some projects will be completed by the end of March 2002. Other projects will continue through to completion by end 2002.

The South West of England Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) has agreed in principle to fund Phase One and Phase Two of the Regional Study. Further funding is being sought from other partners including: DETR, Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water, South West Water, GOSW, Sustainability South West and others.

The contributions of delegates are valued highly and of considerable importance in the next phases of the project. We will be in touch with you soon to seek your input into the Scoping Study. This may involve interviews, workshops, discussion groups, or questionnaires as appropriate. In the meantime it would be most helpful if you could extend the network of contacts that are involved with climate change issues within your organisation, and keep us informed of additional contacts or further issues that you consider to be important. We can be contacted via:

Gerry Metcalf
Geography and Environmental Management Research Unit
Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education
Francis Close Hall
Swindon Road
Cheltenham GL50 4AZ
Tel (01242) 543389
Fax (01242 543283


Last updated: 10 July 2001

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