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Manchester experts help shape EU climate policy

In a dedicated session in Brussels, and supported by University of Manchester academics, Dr Jeremy Carter and Dr Seb Carney, Manchester Councillor Neil Swannick, who is also a member of the EU Committee of the Regions, delivered a policy opinion on the EU’s first Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change.

Cllr Swannick addressed the Committee of the Regions on the strategy, which has been scrutinised by academics at the university and specialists at the Environment Agency.

In his address he stressed that water resources are directly impacted by climate change and that the management of these resources affects ecosystems, socio economic activities and human health. He also urged the building of links between climate change adaptation, disaster risk management and the emergency planning communities.

The feedback comes just months after CO2 reached its highest recorded level, a stark warning to observers of the global planning required to prepare for a change in conditions as well as the need to militate against this change through reducing emissions.

Dr Jeremy Carter, Research Fellow at the University of Manchester said: “The message from the world’s leading climate scientists is clear. The climate is changing and will continue to do so over the coming decades. We have a responsibility to develop strategies and actions to adapt to these changes to help protect vulnerable communities, support biodiversity and ecosystems and reduce negative economic impacts.”

Councillor Neil Swannick said: “Cities and regions are on the front line when it comes to responding to extreme weather events and climate change. Working to reduce our carbon emissions today must go hand in hand with adapting our cities and regions to cope with the inevitable effects of the historic and still continuing, accumulation of carbon emissions.

“Only by harnessing all our efforts at local, regional, national and EU level can we hope to achieve the changes needed. The allocation of 20 % of the EU budget for climate-related spending must be taken up by regional and local authorities for local action to underpin the hoped-for global agreement in Paris in 2015."