Adaptation & Facing Climate Adversity through Technology
For decades, scientists have warned us of repercussions associated with a warming climate and, unfortunately, some countries are already experiencing unprecedented effects as a result. Extreme flooding, rising sea levels, intense heat waves, and unparalleled storms are becoming all too frequent occurrences and the vulnerable within our communities suffer the most. Which is why in addition to mitigating climate change, adaptation is crucial for our continued survival.
COP26 has a series of key focus areas to help narrow the scope and better align participating countries’ support, including mitigation, adaptation, and collaboration. To find out more about how climate mitigation can be enabled through public purpose technology, read our latest blog here. Adaptation, however, focuses primarily on ways to avert, minimize, and address damage associated with climate change.
As part of their focus on adaptation, COP26 has outlined three actionable steps countries can take:
- Planning & Finance
- Protecting & Restoring Habitats
- Adaptation Communication Plans
Planning & Finance
As part of the adaptation strategy, countries should be committing themselves to planning and funding a variety of approaches. This can include improving early warning systems, investing in resilient infrastructure and farming practices. By doing this, countries can help prevent loss of property damage associated with extreme storms, reduce loss of natural habitat, and save lives.
Protecting & Restoring Habitats
Beyond creating early warning systems or building resilient infrastructure, countries can improve their chances of weathering climate change-related events by preserving natural habitats. This could be done through setting up protected areas/regions, planting native plants as part of landscape restoration/preservation, and protecting wildlife.
Adaptation Communication Plans
In order to share best practices, each country needs to put together a summary of what they are planning to do to adapt to a changing climate, what challenges they face, and where they need help the most.
SSEN Wildlife Project
The project with the Scottish and Southern Electricity Network (SSEN) is a prime example of adaptation in progress. The project was started to address issues around biodiversity and adaptation, as well as improving quality of life for SSEN’s customers. Arcadis and Irys teamed up with SSEN to put together a holistic approach to meeting several of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including life on land, climate action, sustainable cities and communities, and affordable clean energy. As part of this project, SSEN has put together a competitive Environmental Action Plan (EAP) to deliver on net zero carbon emission commitments by 2050 and biodiversity net gain from 2025.
In order to achieve this, Arcadis helped SSEN identify opportunities for supporting wildlife restoration and habitats. They focused on identifying practical, nature-based solutions to carbon and biodiversity offsetting and enhancement within SSEN’s northern Scotland and south-central England operating areas. But in order for the project to be impactful across all adaptation categories, SSEN still needed a way to communicate it’s plans with its customers and stakeholders. Which is how Irys came into the project. Irys’ engagement platform allows for customers within the Argyle and Bute (northern Scotland) and Hampshire (South-central England) counties to connect and share feedback with SSEN. Gaining feedback from customers on how they want to engage within their environments and what their expectations are regarding natural or green habitats helps SSEN formulate their strategies around improving biodiversity and habitat restoration with a customer-centric approach.
Results of this project are going to be shared at the Tech for Our Planet showcase event on November 11, 2021 in Glasgow Scotland as part of COP26. We’re on the Road to Glasgow and we hope you’ll continue to join us.