Climate Change will continue to be one of the critical challenges for the region. The primary driver for regional partner’s activity was the 2008 ClimateChangeAct, which has provided a statutory framework for activity to reduce climate impacts and carbon emissions, whilst seizing the opportunities for low carbon growth. The main principles of this action were to:
- Reduce the impact of unavoidable climate change. Past emissions mean that some climate change effects are inevitable and are already becoming visible in the Northwest through warmer drier summers, milder wetter winters, rising sea levels and stormier weather. This will have consequences for spatial decision-making, health, logistics, the management of people and property, and the resilience of international supply chains
- Tackle the carbon trajectory. Although regional carbon emissions have declined since 1990, the underlying trend is for a growth in emissions, related to population and economic growth. In order to meet the target of a minimum of 80% reduction by 2050, the region will need an acceleration in innovative low carbon activity
- Secure an affordable energy supply. Our transition to a low carbon economy, which reduces the amount of carbon required for economic activity and diversifies our energy supply, will be a key factor in ensuring that the region can continue to grow
- Maximise the potential for growth. Climate change presents new opportunities for businesses in terms of development of new technologies, and realising cost savings to business through increased energy efficiency measures, for example. Conversely, the risk of not taking action to combat climate change could be significant; rising energy and water use costs; losing competitive edge in a landscape of organisations who are taking the lead to adapt to and manage climate change to their benefit.