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Informing UK governance of resilience to climate risks: improving the local evidence-base

Howarth, Candice, Morse-Jones, Sian, Kythreotis, Andrew, Brooks, Katya and Lane, Matt 2020. Informing UK governance of resilience to climate risks: improving the local evidence-base. Climatic Change 10.1007/s10584-020-02821-3

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International assessments of evidence on climate change (e.g. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC) or national climate change risk assessments (e.g. UK Climate Change Risk Assessment, CCRA) do not offer a sufficiently granular perspective on climate impacts to adequately inform governance of resilience to climate risks at the local level. Using an analysis of UK decision-makers managing and responding to heatwaves and flood risks, this paper argues how more robust local evidence is needed to inform decision-making regarding adaptation options for enhancing local resilience. We identify evidence gaps and issues relating to local climate change impacts, including sources and quality of evidence used, adequacy and accessibility of evidence available, ill-communicated evidence and conflicting or misused evidence. A lack of appreciation regarding how scientific evidence and personal judgement can mutually enhance the quality of decision-making underpins all of these gaps. Additionally, we find that the majority of evidence currently used is reductively based upon socio-economic and physical characteristics of climate risks. We argue that a step change is needed in local climate resilience that moves beyond current physical and socio-economic risk characterisation to a more inclusive co-constitution of social and politically defined climate risks at the local scale that are better aligned with the local impacts felt and needs of stakeholders.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0165-0009
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 October 2020
Date of Acceptance: 4 August 2020
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2020 15:30

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