Public Sector Climate Adaptation Network open to new members!

Adaptation Scotland is excited to announce the opportunity for public body organisations to join the Public Sector Climate Adaptation Network, formerly known as the Benchmarking Working Group. The Public Sector Climate Adaptation Network is comprised of public bodies who work together to share learnings and progress on climate change adaptation.

The group started in June 2019 and includes 40 major organisations including local authorities, infrastructure operators, universities and national public bodies. We are now offering the opportunity for a further 10 organisations to join the Network in October 2023.

Public Sector Climate Adaptation Network Autumn Meeting, 2023

A framework for the public sector

The Adaptation Capability Framework, launched in 2019, provides guidance and tools to help public bodies adapt to climate change. To support the use of the Framework, a Benchmarking Tool was developed to measure progress on adaptation, track the impact of actions and illustrate an organisation’s adaptation journey.

The Public Sector Climate Adaptation Network:

  • Facilitates peer to peer support
  • Provides training and skills development
  • Develops case studies and shares good practice
  • Supports organisations to use the Benchmarking Tool
  • Provides feedback to inform further development of the Adaptation Capability Framework

Public sector adaptation requirements

The public sector has a crucial role to play in enabling Scotland to adapt to climate change. Taking a strong, collaborative and proactive approach will ensure that vital public assets, infrastructure and services are fit for current and future generations and able to deliver positive outcomes across society. It also has a unique leadership role in driving climate action and influencing change across society.

The public sector is subject to legislative climate change duties that require action to adapt and report progress. As set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, a “public body must, in exercising its functions, act: in the way best calculated to help deliver any (Scottish statutory adaptation programme).” This means that all public sector organisations must ensure their activities and programming are designed so as to best deliver Climate Ready Scotland: climate change adaptation programme 2019-2024. Many public sector organisations make use of the Adaptation Capability Framework to work towards these requirements.

Mandatory Public Bodies Climate Change Reporting began in 2015/16, and includes both mitigation and adaptation reporting requirements. Sustainable Scotland Network (SSN) supports public sector organisations to address their climate change duties. SSN and Adaptation Scotland align their work to ensure a comprehensive landscape of support is available for the public sector.

Who can join the Public Sector Climate Adaptation Network?

The Public Sector Climate Adaptation Network is open to practitioners who are leading, or closely involved with implementing adaptation work within public sector organisations.

What level of commitment is expected from members?

Members are expected to:

  • Commit to benchmarking adaptation progress of their organisation using the Adaptation Capability Framework Benchmarking Tool
  • Participate in at least two in-person/hybrid events per year. These events provide training and support to progress adaptation work and are designed in collaboration with the Network.
  • Optional: Take part in monthly one hour Drop-In sessions to share experience and learning

What will participants gain from being involved in the group?

Participants benefit from:

  • Opportunities to network and receive support from peers
  • Training and skills development covering topics such as risk assessment, public engagement and project planning
  • Advice and support on how to use the Adaptation Capability Framework and Benchmarking Tool
  • Space to reflect on learning and share experience with others

How can I get involved?

To apply to join the Public Sector Climate Adaptation Network, please email [email protected] by Friday 27th October 2023 with details of:

  • Your name, role and organisation
  • Confirmation that you are able to meet the commitments asked of Network members
  • A couple of sentences setting out how you hope to benefit from and contribute to the Network

Please note that places are limited to 10 new organisations to join the Network at this time. If demand exceeds available places, Adaptation Scotland will prioritise allocations to ensure a wide variety public sector organisations and locations are represented.

New members will be invited to an introductory session to take place online on Monday 6th November.

If you have any questions, or would like to have an informal chat about the Network before deciding to join, please contact Aoife Hutton, [email protected].