How risk managers can help councils understand the benefit of taking more steps to protect citizens and local environments from climate change.
COP26, taking place in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November, is a once in a generation opportunity for global leaders to change our destiny.
We await the outcomes from the Conference, which will influence the schemes, targets, legislation and funding that will shape our adaptation and mitigation strategies and the UK’s transition to a zero-carbon economy, with net gain for the environment, wildlife and biodiversity.
In August 2021 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) published its Climate Change 2021 – The Physical Science Base report (the Report). It led to alarming headlines around the world about how close we are to missing our window of opportunity to limit global temperature rise to 1.5ºC.
The Report sets out likely regional implications of climate change. For Western Europe, the Report, perhaps unsurprisingly, predicts:
On temperature, the Report predicts an increase in extreme heat events, and a decrease in extreme cooling events. This will affect agriculture (with changes to growing seasons and crop resilience) and health (heat related dehydration and heat exhaustion and new diseases, illnesses and parasites); and will force changes to our housing stock (fitting external shutters, increased cooling costs) and possibly to how we live (adapting school and work hours).
Flooding will become much more frequent, from all sources. This requires further investment in flood protection infrastructure; changes to our existing building stock; future building being flood protected or designed to adapt to flooding; and changes to farming practices to safeguard land, crops and livestock.
As well as increased risk of flooding, increased precipitation events could cause damage to highways and greater pressure on drainage systems.
All of this will impact significantly on the insurance industry, leading to increased claims in some areas. For domestic and commercial insurers this will be mainly linked to property damage.
For council risk managers, the impacts are likely to lead to an increase in:
To mitigate these claims, councils can:
All of the above are sensible investments which will produce a cost benefit gain long-term, when offset with the costs of retrofitting in the future, as well as probable heat-related claims that may arise. However, without doubt, the most effective way to mitigate projected changes in our climate is to limit global heating to less than 1.5ºC.
Councils are uniquely placed to work with local communities and businesses to contribute to zero carbon communities, and environmental gain equates with humanity’s gain. Risk managers can help councils understand the cost benefit analysis of taking more significant steps to protect citizens and local environments from the most damaging impacts of climate change.
First published in www.alarmrisk.com on Tuesday 2 November.
Law firm Browne Jacobson has collaborated with Wiltshire Council and Christ Church Business School on the launch event of The Council Company Best Practice and Innovation Network, a platform which brings together academic experts and senior local authority leaders, allowing them to share best practice in relation to council companies.
In the Autumn Statement delivered on 17 November, rises to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates were announced, to take effect from 1 April 2023.
Announced in September but scrapped on 17 November the investment zone proposals were very short lived. The proposal has now morphed into the proposal for a smaller number of clustered zones earmarked for investment.
Settlement agreements are commonplace in an employment context and are ordinarily used to provide the parties to the agreement with certainty following the conclusion of an employment relationship.
On 2 November 2022, the Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the much awaiting case of Hillside Parks Ltd v Snowdonia National Park Authority  UKSC 30. The Court’s judgment suggests that the long established practice of using drop-in applications is in fact much more restricted than previously thought. This judgment therefore has significant implications for both the developers and local planning authorities.
The war on plastic is being taken to a new level, and businesses that don’t consider sourcing recycled packaging materials could face costly implications.
In ‘failure to remove’ claims, the claimant alleges abuse in the family home and asserts that the local authority should have known about the abuse and/or that they should have removed the claimant from the family home and into care earlier.
Earlier in the year a number of fashion retailers, boldly announced the introduction of a charging fee for returning any product purchased via their online store. Yet, despite this commercial, and perhaps somewhat controversial decision, at least one major fashion giant that adopted this approach has recorded ‘historic highs’ in its September profits. Browne Jacobson partner, Cat Driscoll who heads up the firm’s commercial team in Manchester and is also head of its Fashion & Beauty sector discusses whether this change has put the average consumer off and whether the days of free returns are long gone.