Climate Change Adaptation in London. Alex Nickson, Policy & Programmes Manager Climate Change Adaptation & Water, Greater London Authority

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1 Climate Change Adaptation in London Alex Nickson, Policy & Programmes Manager Climate Change Adaptation & Water, Greater London Authority

2 Why adapt? We are not very well adapted to our existing climate In the future, even the average weather is likely to present challenges to our current ability to cope Urban areas are particularly vulnerable to climate risks Adaptation actions can provide wider benefits to other urban issues Some changes will take generations to implement and need to be started now to be ready when needed We need to ensure that new / refurbished development is designed for the climate it will experience over its lifetime. There is a business advantage to being better adapted

3 The London Climate Change Adaptation Strategy We have taken a risk-based approach that : 1. Assesses how London is vulnerable to weatherrelated risks today 2. Uses climate projections to understand how climate change accentuates existing risks or creates new risks / opportunities in the future 3. Identifies and tests risk management options 4. Provides a framework to : 1. Identify where the Mayor is uniquely placed to act 2. Identify where other partners are best placed to act and how their actions can be facilitated or enhanced 3. Identify where further work is required to understand the climate and / or impacts

4 How is London vulnerable to the climate? Flooding Overheating Water resources Air Quality Subsidence and heave Wind storms Global climate events

5 The challenges - flooding 5 flood sources Tidal Fluvial Surface Sewer Groundwater - Frequently experience flooding from more than one source - Climate change will increase probability, London s growth may increase consequence

6 15% of London lies on river floodplains Low (0.1% - 0.5%) Moderate (0.5% - 1.3%) Significant (>1.3%)

7 Rainfall (mm/month) How will climate change increase flood risk? 70.0 Average Monthly Rainfall: All Scenarios against Baseline J F M A M J J A S O N D Baseline Rainfall 2020s 2050s 2080s Sea levels will rise (+1m by 2100, +2m under extreme scenario) Wetter winters and more heavy rainfall episodes Peak fluvial flow could increase by 40% by 2080s

8 Flood risk management actions Develop surface water flood risk map identifies and targets priority flood hotspots Implement London-wide urban greening and river restoration programme Work with Business Improvement Districts to green their areas and improve resilience Trialling deep green retrofit in 3 neighbourhoods Develop a community flood plan programme Introduced planning policies requiring developers to use rainwater, or at least slow release to drains and rivers Worked with UK Environment Agency to identify flood risk management options for tidal Thames to 2100

9 The challenges - drought The south east of England is already seriously water stressed. 80% of London s water supply from Thames and Lea, 20% from aquifer London s water resources are already over-abstracted, or over-licensed. In a dry year, demand currently exceeds supply. Londoners use more water than the national average (167 l/p/d vs 150 l/p/d) Only 1 in 4 homes has a water meter Identifying Areas of Water Stress, EA The Victorian-era water distribution network loses over 1/4 water in leakage

10 Rainfall (mm/month) How will climate change increase risk of drought? 70.0 Average Monthly Rainfall: All Scenarios against Baseline J F M A M J J A S O N D Baseline Rainfall 2020s 2050s 2080s Reducing river flows Reducing groundwater recharge Increasing evaporation Increasing loss from broken water mains Increasing demand from people and wildlife

11 Managing drought Implement an integrated six-point plan: Improve the water efficiency of existing buildings Ensure all new development is super water efficient Raise Londoners awareness of the financial benefits of increased water efficiency Increase the number of homes with a water meter Change the way Londoners pay for their water Continue to tackle leakage.

12 The challenges - overheating 600 people died in the 2003 heatwave London s microclimate amplifies the impact of hot weather (London is up to 10ºC warmer than the greenbelt on summer nights) Londoners are more resilient to rising temperatures than other UK regions, but suffer most when temperatures exceed 24 C.

13 Temperature (C) How will climate change increase risk of overheating? Average monthly maximum temperature. Medium emissions scenario. Average Monthly Maximum Temperature Medium Emssions Scenario s J F M A M J J A S O N D Baseline Temperature 2020s 2050s 2080s Global-warming induced climate change Intensification of the urban heat island More cloud free days Drier summers BUT also : Man-made heat contributions in response to hotter temperatures Increase in density from London s growth

14 Managing overheating Develop a London heat vulnerability index to map triple-jeopardy hotspots Implement an urban greening programme Increase London-wide tree cover by 5% by 2025 Increase greencover in the centre of London by 5% by 2030 and a further 5% by ,000m2 of green roofs by 2012 Enhance 280ha of greenspace by 2012 Developed design guidance for architects and their clients Create a network of weather stations across London Identify and promote heatwave refuges

15 % of days RR Temperature mortality association London Slope = 3.33% per o C Threshold = 24.7 o C Temperature Two-day mean of tmax, after adjusting for potential confounders A simpler linear-threshold (hockey stick) model (Armstrong et al. 2009) 15

16 Getting going (1) Talk to everyone and anyone Identify and secure sectoral champions Tailor your language to suit the audience Ask what success / failure looks like Understand how current climate risks may affect this Risk = probability x vulnerability identify thresholds understand risk appetite for exceeding threshold Identify and understand interdependencies

17 Getting going (2) Apply the UKCP09 climate change projections Identify where and how risks change and opportunities arise Assess identified thresholds and risk appetite against probabilistic projections Identify adaptation gap between what we can cope with today and what we need to cope with tomorrow Review interdependencies to see if new issues arise

18 Getting going (3) Identify and develop adaptation options Identify win-win and no-regret opportunities Test & review actions against stated aims Develop flexible adaptation pathways Develop delivery partnerships Monitor and review actions

19 Flexible adaptation pathways

20 Case study: Surface water flood risk Early 2007, we identified surface water flood risk as a potential threat no ownership of risk no map of where might get wet fragmented responsibility for delivery low skills base outside consultancies 33 boroughs, therefore 33 ways of working Climate models indicated that this was an existing problem that would only get worse.

21 Drain London project Created a partnership of key stakeholders Developed a strategic framework to ensure coherent approach Created sub-regional groups to work together and own the risk Mapped flooding and validated flood maps against historic records Identified where flooding may present a risk to people and property Identified strategic and local priorities Developed flood risk management plans

22 Drain London sub-regional groups

23 Surface water flood risk in London

24 Identifying the adaptation gap Source : Ofwat (July 2010). Changes in the frequency of extreme rainfall for selected towns and cities.

25 Closing the adaptation gap

26 Key lessons learnt Language ( framing ) is vital Identify and promote sectoral champions Think about vulnerability as well as exposure Climate models are tools not answers Don t let the perfect be the enemy of good Look for win-win and no-regret solutions Identify & develop flexible adaptation pathways Adaptation is a journey, not a destination.

27 Thank you

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