Public Sector Climate Adaptation Network reaches 50 members!

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 in a changing climate.

We are pleased to share that the Adaptation Scotland programme’s Public Sector Climate Adaptation Network has now reached a total of 50 active members, representing a large portion of Scotland’s public sector, including local authorities, infrastructure operators, university and colleges, and land managers.

This Network, formerly known as the Benchmarking Working Group, is made up of practitioners who are leading, or closely involved with implementing adaptation work within public sector organisations. Participants benefit from opportunities to network and receive support from peers, as well as training and skills development.

The Network’s inception was in 2019, spurred into action by the development of the award-winning Adaptation Capability Framework – a common approach for public bodies to respond to climate impacts and develop their capabilities to adapt to new risks. The Network is an example of how learning exchanges can help drive forward adaptation ambition and action.

Roddy Hamilton, Falkirk Council, who has been involved with the group since 2020, reflects on the benefits of the Network:

“The group has been, and continues to be, a fantastic source of information, inspiration, peer-to-peer support, and networking in relation to climate change adaptation and by extension adaptation-adjacent topics including ecology, and climate change mitigation.As the group has grown and developed to reflect the needs of the group, the Adaptation Scotland team and members of the group have maintained a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive environment and a great sense of camaraderie.”

Members this year new include Angus Council, Argyll and Bute Council, Crown Estate Scotland, Dundee and Angus College, Highlands and Islands Airports, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, SPT, SRUC and the University of Edinburgh.

Arlene Barclay, SRUC (Scotland's Rural College), who joined the network this month, reflects on aspirations for adaptation:

“SRUC are excited to be announced as one of ten new members of Adaptation Scotland PSCAN Network where we intend to utilise Adaptation Scotland’s digital platform resources, (such as the Benchmarking Tool), establish SRUC’s Adaptation Framework and Risk Register and contribute towards PSCAN’s activities. We very much look forward to the peer-to-peer support and networking with this incredible portfolio of professionals.”

Next year, Scotland will publish a new statutory adaptation programme, and it is expected the role of a collaborative public sector will be vital to support Scotland’s effort to build resilience to climate impacts.

In 2024, the Adaptation Scotland programme, which is funded by the Scottish Government, will update and enhance existing adaptation tools and resources, to continue to support public sector partners to take stronger action to adapt to climate risks, developing and empowering public sector leadership to drive a step change in adaptation action, including in cross-sector collaboration and connecting adaptation to other policy areas.