In April 2019, the Council unanimously adopted a motion to declare a Climate Emergency and to achieve zero carbon by 2030. Addressing climate change requires a dual approach; climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation.
Climate Change Mitigation
Climate mitigation focusses on reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, which include carbon and methane, and the activities which contribute to greenhouses gases in the atmosphere. The Council's Climate Change Action Plan looks at what we have done and what we still need to do to reduce our emissions as part of our journey to net zero carbon. It also sets out the importance of safeguarding our natural carbon sinks which play such a vital role capturing carbon from the atmosphere and locking it away.
Climate Change Adaptation
Climate adaptation works in tandem with climate change mitigation measures. Although reducing carbon emissions is important, it will take many decades for emission reductions to reverse climate changes to which we’re already committed. This is why we need to adapt to the inevitable physical impacts of climate change such as sea level rise, flooding and changes in rainfall as soon as possible. The Council has developed the Climate Adaptation Scilly programme to address the immediate response to climate change.
In essence, climate change mitigation actions deal with the climate driven changes which will affect our children and grandchildren while climate change adaptation actions deal with the climate driven changes that are affecting us now.
The Climate Change Action Plan sets out our work programme in dealing with both mitigation and adaptation, identifying actions to reduce our carbon emissions in the future, but also what we need to do to adapt to climate change now.