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The impact of climate change

The world is changing, and we need to change with it. The impacts of climate change are already being felt all over the world.

In the last few years, here in Cornwall, we have experienced unprecedented weather. We have had back-to-back named storms, heatwaves, flash floods and unseasonable weather. This more extreme weather poses a challenge to how we travel and feed ourselves. It also impacts on keeping Cornwall safe for future generations.

Cornwall Climate Risk Assessment

Cornwall Council has commissioned a ground-breaking report. The Report is a Climate Risk Assessment Report. It details how Cornwall will be affected by climate change.

Cornwall Council is the first authority in the country to publish a Report like this. Cornwall's Risk Assessment is complimented by other regional, national and international assessments. These other assessment reports outline the impacts of climate change.

Cornwall's Risk Assessment Report has been produced by a Cornwall-based climate science consultancy. The consultancy, Climate Change Risk Management (CCRM), is led by Professor Stephan Harrison. CCRM is made up of scientists working at the forefront of climate change science and policy. Many of them contribute to reports for the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The Cornwall Climate Risk Assessment Report underlines the need to act now to reduce emissions and tackle climate risks. It highlights key potential changes for Cornwall, including:

  • The highest potential sea level rises around the UK by the end of the century
  • The possibility of more high impact flooding. For example like the floods in Boscastle (2004) and Coverack (2017)
  • Stronger storms and higher wind speeds
  • Faster coastal erosion
  • More heatwaves and severe droughts.

You can view the summary report, and full report using the links below.

The Council has developed a Local Climate Adaptation Tool to help decision makers to understand the health implications of climate change. Developed in partnership with the University of Exeter, 'Then Try This'  and the Alan Turing Institute. It also helps them to prepare for these implications.

The Council is also developing a Climate Risk Adaptation Strategy. This will help Cornwall prepare for changes outlined in the Climate Risk Assessment Report. We will share that here, once it has been finalised.

More information

What you can do to help

The whole world needs to adapt to climate change. In Cornwall we have an opportunity to lead the way in demonstrating what is possible. The sooner we change, the sooner we will be able to create a clean, prosperous and fair future for one and all.

As a council we have a leading role to play in the climate emergency. But we cannot deliver these ambitious outcomes alone. We will need support from all of our residents. We will need support from others as well. That includes our communities, businesses and schools. As well as public sector partners, the voluntary sector and many more.

You have an important role to play in making change happen. Not just as residents, but in your working lives too.

This is just the start of the journey - please join us in tackling the climate emergency


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