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Highland Pilots Climate Change Project

19th March 2008

The Highland Council is one of four local authorities in Scotland which has signed up for a pilot climate change project.

The Council is developing a Local Climate Impacts Profile (LCLIP), which will assess the likely consequences of a changing climate in the region and how the council can adapt its services in response to changing weather events. It is also aimed at identifying any gaps in information relating to the response to weather events in the region.

The project forms part of the ongoing work to meet the commitments set out in the Scottish Climate Change Declaration, to which the Council became a signatory in 2007.

Councillor Drew Hendry, Chairman of the Council's Climate Change Working Group, said: "While the Council is making great efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat the causes of climate change, it is widely accepted by the scientific community that the effects of global warming will be felt in the near future and there is a need to prepare ourselves for increased severe weather events. Highland is delighted to
be one of the four pilot areas selected to undertake a Local Climate Impact Profile. Our unique biodiversity, sparse population and large geographical area make us particularly vulnerable to the changing climate. This project will be the first step in enabling the Council to assess our ability to adapt."

The Council will combine media reports, interviews and research to provide a picture of the real effects of climate change in the community. It will assess the preparedness of the Council to respond to such events and the social and financial costs to the region. The research project is a trial which aims establish if this type of study could help local authorities plan more effectively for changing weather events in the future.

Being led by the Scottish Climate Change Impacts Partnership (SCCIP), the project is being supported by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Sustainable Scotland Network and Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research. An environmental adviser has been contracted to work with Council staff in each of the four council areas and produce a report and recommendations towards the end of this year.

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