Glasgow City Region Adaptation Strategy - report

Glasgow City Region Climate Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan

Intervention 11 Begin the transition to an economy resilient to future climate impacts Aim: To shift Glasgow City Region’s economy to be climate ready to the impacts, as well as take advantage of the opportunities of climate change, and create green jobs. This will involve addressing macro-economic issues of productivity, skills, employment and supply chains as well as direct support to SMEs and large corporations. The approach to doing so will be fair and inclusive, to ensure just resilience, strengthening livelihoods at the same time as the wider economy of Scotland and the UK. Background: The effects of climate change will cascade across the entire economy of Glasgow City Region, changing demands in goods and services, affecting the profitability and in some cases the viability of sectors and businesses, affecting labour productivity and affecting risks to assets and operations, as well supply chains. These impacts will be negative in some sectors, and for some goods and services, but will be positive for others. The challenge: We need to begin transitioning our economic system to one which is much more resilient to the impacts of climate change. This is complex, as the economy is already undergoing profound change because of COVID, decarbonization, automation and shifts to a circular economy, and challenges will vary – with forestry or agriculture facing different challenges to financial services. In parallel, we must capture the economic opportunities from a changing climate, creating the enabling environment to make sure potential economic benefits are fully realized, for the public and private sector, on top of the broader macroeconomic benefits delivered by the Strategy. SMEs are the backbone of the Scottish economy, but often need support to consider longer term shifts that are outside their core focus. We also need to ensure this transition is fair and just, to both workers and businesses, supporting the most vulnerable to improve their resilience or transition into new industries or locations. Larger, publicly listed companies in Glasgow City Region have global operations which could be affected by climate change impacts around the world. These issues are rising up the agenda with climate related financial disclosure (of physical climate risk) and this will put pressure on companies located in the region, and in turn to those organizations responsible for the region’s planning and development to adapt to ensure continued and increased investment. Where are we now? There has been some early work to support business to become climate ready, but little focused on the region. Scottish Enterprise has completed a national assessment of how vulnerable certain sectors of the Scottish economy are, whilst Adaptation Scotland has already developed guidance for businesses to become climate ready. There has been little thought about the justice issues associated with a resilient transition – the Just Transition Commission has mainly focused on mitigation. Glasgow City Region is home to 216 publicly listed companies who are at risk of global climate change (MSCI, 2020). Our adaptation economy comprises 79 companies, employing 8,390 – and the sector is projected to grow at 19% a year. 31


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