Agenda item

Report of the Director of Climate Change, Environment and Transport (CET/24/19) seeking endorsement of the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Strategy, attached.


An Impact Assessment has been prepared for the attention of Members at the meeting, is attached, and can also be found at -


RESOLVED that Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Strategy be endorsed.


(Councillors Dewhirst, Leaver, Whitton attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).


The Cabinet considered the Report of the Director of Climate Change, Environment and Transport (CET/24/19) which sought endorsement of the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Strategy, circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.


The Council had declared a climate emergency and was a founding partner

and principal funder of the Devon Climate Emergency initiative. In signing the Devon Climate Declaration, the Council had committed to working with partners to understand the near-term and future risks arising from climate change to plan for how infrastructure, public services and communities would have to adapt.


The Devon, Cornwall, and Isles of Scilly (DCIoS) Climate Impacts Group (CIG), chaired by the Environment Agency and coordinated by DCC, was formed in 2019. The CIG has prepared the DCIoS Climate Adaptation Strategy, which was a strategic-level document, comprising of three sections:


1. A Climate Change Risk and Opportunity Assessment (CCRA) split by sector (natural environment, infrastructure, health and built environment, business and industry, and cross-cutting risks). These sectors broadly corresponded with the sectors used in the national climate change risk assessment, which was used as the basis for the analysis.


2. A Strategic Adaptation Plan, which set out the conditions for everyone to act on adapting to climate change together (“Adaptation Plan”). It provided a set of strategic objectives and suite of strategic-level adaptation options that could be considered for regional collaboration.


3. An Action Plan, which set out the priority actions for regional collaboration over the next five years, and specific actions for different groups: policy makers, organisations, community groups and individuals.


The full document could be viewed at and was attached at Appendix 1 to the Report.


It focused on climate impacts which required, or which would benefit from, regional collaboration. It was not the purpose of the Adaptation Strategy to plan the detail of how individual areas and communities should adapt. Instead, such detailed plans would be captured at an appropriate level depending upon the risk.


The CIG recognised that it had an important role in supporting others to develop their own adaptation plans at a range of scales, from sectoral to household level.


The CIG, guided by consultants RSK, ran a series of workshops with key organisations and community representatives during 2022 to inform the risk and opportunities assessment and lists of adaptation options. The Adaptation Strategy was open for public consultation during May and June 2023 and the Council submitted a formal response, with input from the Climate Change

Standing Overview Group of the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny.


The DCIoS Climate Adaptation Strategy contributed to all six priorities in the Council’s Strategic Plan 2021 – 2025, by preparing communities, infrastructure, services, the economy and the environment for climatic changes.


The Cabinet further noted that the environmental impacts of specific projects arising from the implementation of the Strategy would be managed on an individual basis.


An Impact Assessment had been prepared for the attention of Members and was also available at This highlighted that climate change affected everybody in the county, and it would affect people less able to adapt the most, including those less affluent, living with physical and mental health conditions, living in coastal communities or areas prone to flooding and young people who would live with the effects becoming worse over their lifetimes. The Strategy included a more detailed commentary on people most vulnerable to climate change.


In summary, the Strategy showed that climate change would have far reaching and profound implications for how places functioned, were planned, how they felt and how behaviours needed to change.


The matter having been debated and the options and alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. financial, sustainability and carbon impact, risk management, equality and legal considerations and alignment with the Council’s Strategic Plan) set out in the Director’s Report having been considered:


it was MOVED by Councillor Davis, SECONDED by Councillor Hart, and


RESOLVED that Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Strategy be endorsed.

Supporting documents: