Ynni Cymunedol Cymru

Blog - Rob at the Conference

Our Business Development Manager, Robert Proctor went along to the Committee on Climate Change’s annual conference this week. Here are some of his thoughts.

Every year we attend the Committee on Climate Change’s annual conference, looking at different themes and topics surrounding the environment. This year’s theme was how we’ll adapt to a 3 degree rise in the world’s temperature. Receiving that invite was a sobering reminder of the challenges we face.

Of course, we are committed under the Paris Agreement to try and limit warming below 2 degrees, and as close to 1.5 degrees as possible. Unfortunately, current global policy would result in a 3 degrees rise by 2100 meaning an enormous impact on our climate and the very real need to prepare for a very different world than we live in today. This future poses a huge number of risks for us in Wales but also for others across the globe.

Sometimes it is difficult to truly understand the impacts of climate change, when it is communicated in numbers or in abstract terms it doesn’t always feel real. I wanted to know what a 3 degree warmer world would actually mean for people and so, during the first panel event, I asked the scientists taking part ‘how does the prospect of a 3 degree warmer world make you feel?’ Most of them admitted that it was a very scary and worrying prospect. Although they had a good understanding of large-scale climatic changes and some of the likely impacts on the ground, they had a lot of uncertainty on how it would impact society and what that could lead to. In addition, they recognised that often local conditions lead to impacts which are difficult to model. The fires in Australia and California were examples where local climatic feedbacks made the fires worse than anticipated by climate models.

As many of our communities in Wales will know, particularly those that saw unprecedented flooding last year, we are already seeing the impacts of a warming world. We will see the first village being abandoned to rising sea levels in Wales. Residents from Fairbourne will have to move within the next 20 or so years because the risks to flooding will become too severe. This is all a result of just a 1 degree rise in temperature and of course we are seeing other huge impacts globally.

Climate change has already arrived, and we are already seeing its impacts, we need to adapt. As worrying and scary as it is to be discussing a 3-4 degree warmer world, we need to be making it clear to people that this is a very realistic scenario. There is a need to think now about how we can prevent the worst of the impacts by reducing our CO2 emissions and to start thinking about how we can adapt.

One of the great joys of being involved in the Community Energy sector is that we are working together to tackle many of these issues and driving change in our communities. We are working together to build strong sustainable communities and we saw how local community energy groups were able to respond to support their communities during Covid. It is possibly more important now than ever to build strong communities and support our communities through this huge transition we are going through. I hope that our network will help us to support one another through these challenging times and ultimately help the communities where we live and work. I certainly feel hugely privileged to be working with such incredible and passionate people. You are all making a huge, positive difference and are a massive asset to your communities. Keep up the great work and know that what you’re work is making a difference even when the challenges appear insurmountable.

Thanks

Rob

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