Posted on Wednesday 13th September 2023
Cllr Nigel Yates and Cllr Simon Tagg
Councils in Staffordshire have shared their proposals to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The ’Staffordshire Adaptation Strategy’ sees councils across the county come together and commit to addressing the issues caused by climate change.
The plan focuses on four key areas, infrastructure and buildings, the natural environment, protecting residents, and the local economy.
In recent years, Staffordshire has seen an increase in extreme weather events, with 15 significant floods since 2000, nine storms since 2018, and a record-high temperature of 40 degrees last year.
The councils' proposals acknowledge the importance of preparing for the impacts of climate change in the future and emphasises the need for adaptation planning across all council services.
The strategy has been developed as part of a joint effort by the Staffordshire Sustainability Board that is made up of elected members from councils across the county.
Simon Tagg, the Chair of the Staffordshire Sustainability Board and Staffordshire County Councils Cabinet Member for Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Change, said:
"Adapting to the impacts of climate change is just as important as reducing our carbon emissions and striving for net-zero. Even if we cut our carbon emissions to zero overnight, the climate will continue to warm up, more extreme weather conditions will become commonplace, which means we need to start thinking widely and putting measures in place now that protect our communities, buildings, roads, environment, and economy.
“The Staffordshire Adaptation Strategy is an important first step in this process. Now, the task is to work together to better prepare ourselves to respond and adapt to the changing climate in the future.”
Adaption measures to mitigate climate change impacts are already taking place across the county, with oversized drainage systems being installed in Hamstall Ridwall to protect residents from flooding, the restoration of floodplains in Stafford to enable wildlife to thrive and reduce floods, and the Washlands Enhancement project in Burton that has upgraded the flood defences along the River Trent to balance flooding with public access and recreation alongside nature conservation.
The new Vice Chair of the Staffordshire Sustainability Board, Cllr Nigel Yates Cabinet Member for Climate Change at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council said:
“Everyone knows about the importance of reducing our carbon footprint, but we talk less about the changes we need to make in order to live safely with a changing climate.”
“This strategy is a really positive step in the right direction and lays the foundation for us to work together as a partnership to approach the changes we need to make in Staffordshire to protect our place and its people.”
The Climate Change Adaptation strategy will be discussed at a meeting of Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet on 20th September. You can read the papers here.