Climate change workshops offered to East Devon businesses

It s one of the biggest challenges facing the Earth today, but are you sure you know how your business or organisation could be affected by climate change?

It's one of the biggest challenges facing the Earth today, but are you sure you know how your business or organisation could be affected by climate change?

Nearly three months since the Government unveiled its latest climate change projections for the UK, a series of free workshops are being organised to help businesses and other organisations in the South West to develop plans to adapt to the challenges which climate change could bring.

The workshops are called: UK Climate Projections in Practice and are being held in partnership with Defra, UK Climate Change Impacts Partnership (UKCIP), South West Climate Change Impacts Partnership (SWCCIP) and Government Office for the South West.

They are the first events of their kind to be held anywhere in Britain.

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The week-long series of events will give delegates a more in-depth understanding of the practical applications of the Government's climate change predictions, as set out in UKCP09.

The events will run from Monday 14th to Friday 18th September, at Somerset College of Arts and Technology (SCAT) in Taunton.

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In addition to a number of open workshops, specific workshops are being offered for local authorities, planners, flood and coastal risk management practitioners, and those working in nature conservation.

There are also nine User Interface sessions that will provide detailed training on how to develop business opportunities out of climate change.

Places are limited though. There are only 60-70 spaces at each of the nine events.

To view the schedule of free events and to reserve your place at the UK Climate Projections in Practice workshops, please visit:

Giving his endorsement to the workshops, Jim Knight, Minister for the South West said: "When I visited the Met Office in June, for the launch of the Government's climate change predictions, I was blown away by amount of work that's going on. This is a great opportunity for businesses and other organisations in the South West to get a clearer understanding of what these climate change projections mean in practice. I hope as many organisations as possible take advantage of this first regional training week."

In the UK we are likely to face hotter, drier summers and warmer, wetter winters and more extreme weather events such as flooding, drought and heat waves.

In the South West, some of the key findings of UKCP09 are:

* By the 2080s, the average summer temperature in the South West could be 3.5 degrees Celsius warmer.

* But the temperature of the hottest day of the year could increase by up to 10 degrees Celsius by 2080.

* 2050 there could be 19 per cent less rainfall in the summer leading to subsidence, lower crop yields and water stress

* However, there could be 17 per cent more rainfall in the winter leading to increased winter flooding, transport disruption and risks to urban drainage

* By 2080 Newlyn could see a sea level rise of 40cm.

Alex Webb, SWCCIP Manager: "We've all got to learn to adapt to climate change. For businesses, it should be seen as a vital part of on going business continuity planning. These events will enable businesses in the South West to get expert advice from some of the leading experts on climate change ... advice which will enable them to operate to their full potential in the future, despite the challenges thrown up by climate change."

The National Trust is a key member of the South West Climate Change Impacts Partnership.

Brendan McCarthy is Wessex Regional Director at the National Trust: "As a major coastal landowner, it is vital for the National Trust to understand the impacts of climate change and sea level rise so we can work with local communities and businesses to plan for change. This is why we are developing adaptation strategies across our coastal properties and will be using the 2009 projections to inform this work. The training organised by SWCCIP will help the region's businesses understand how climate change is likely to effect them. Having a clear picture of the range of possible impacts is essential to all of us in business planning for the future.

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