Fit for the Future and Climate Change Adaptation

Over three years ago, a Fit for the Future working group made up of representatives from the National Trust, Historic Environment Scotland, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the RSPB, Historic England and the Woodland Trust came together to understand what our members need to know in order to start taking action on adaptation. We ran surveys with our members, workshops at our annual conference and ran several events - including a visit to Tredegar House and an event with the Met Office in May 2019. 


Climate Sense and ISO 14090

And the topic is only becoming more and more urgent as climate impacts continue to ramp up locally and globally. For many of our member organisations, managing assets that are becoming increasingly exposed to climate risk means that there is a growing imperative to start planning to make their organisations 'climate ready'. Our event with Climate Sense this week was designed to give members the tools to begin this planning, by drawing on the framework outlined in the new standard ISO 14090. This standard was put together by experts across the globe, and convened by Professor John Dora, who shared his experiences and knowledge with our members. 


John began by myth-busting; highlighting that the Paris Agreement will not mean we no longer need to adapt. Certain levels of warming - potentially up to 3-4 degrees - are already locked into our atmosphere and this is going to have a huge impact on our world. Adaptation is therefore going to be critical if we are to ensure your organisations can operate into the future. Doogie also warned that it isn't possible to 'be adapted'. Climate change adaptation is an ongoing process of adaptiveness, and an organisation's ability to keep responding and changing to a shifting climate.


The speakers took members through the business case for adaptation - the cost of doing something versus the cost of not - and the entry points for starting to incorporate and embed climate change adaptation thinking into organisational decision-making. They encouraged our members to start asking questions of their organisations - how well is adaptation understood in your industry? What risks are you exposed to? 


They ended by taking us through the clauses of ISO 14090, which provides one framework to address this challenge and ensure that all decisions are made with a long-term view and an eye on climate change adaptation.


Next steps for our members

Next year Fit for the Future will be running a special interest group on climate change adaptation so that members are able to share their progress and experiences with one another. If you are interested in participating in this or in any other Fit for the Future services, then please get in touch


The presentation from this event, along with the webinar recording, is available in our Members' Area.