Climate Change

Adapting to Climate Change

Whether or not you believe in climate change the evidence tells us that the Island is going to become warmer, drier and under threat from rising sea levels.

The Isle of Wight is diverse with nationally important wildlife areas and vibrant urban areas. We are working to ensure that the people of the Island can continue to enjoy a high quality of life on an Island with a thriving economy and flourishing environment.

How might our climate change?

The Island is predicted to get warmer and drier in the summer, leading to droughts putting a strain on business, agriculture and our wildlife.

The winter months are predicted to get warmer and wetter, with rain falling in more intense bursts, leading to extensive and frequent flooding.

Sea level around the Island is predicted to rise leading to increased coastal erosion and a higher risk of coastal flooding.

Extreme weather events are predicted to become more frequent and severe, leading to damage to buildings and infrastructure, and risks to our personal safety.

We have worked with Medina Valley Centre to provide detailed information on the Island’s weather and climate in the past, present and future. Click here to visit the Medina Valley Centre Climate Change website.

The need for adaption

Adaptation - focuses on ensuring services, assets, communities, businesses, infrastructure and the economy are resilient to the realities of a changing climate.

It is widely supported that the changes predicted over the next 30 to 50 years will happen even if we stopped releasing all greenhouse gasses. This is because there is a delay between emissions being released and then having an effect on the climate.

To minimise the effects of (or ideally take advantage of) the predicted changes in climate we must make efforts to enhance our ability to adapt.

The Climate Change Act 2008 forms a legally binding long-term framework to cut carbon emissions and creates a framework for building the UK's ability to adapt to climate change. Action on a local level is essential to ensure we can adapt.

Click here to view the Island Climate Adaptation Report.

Cost of inaction versus cost of adaptation

Current weather events cause considerable economic loss due to direct damage and disruption. In an average year, around £800m is paid out in the UK by insurers in weather-related claims. In a year with exceptional events, this can rise to around £10.5bn.

The Association of British Insurers has estimated that by 2050, the pay-outs during an average year will rise to around £2.2bn and pay-outs during a year with exceptional events could increase nearly three-fold to around £29.2bn due to the effects of climate change alone.