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Climate change group hires manager to lead moves to help Highlands adapt to crisis

By Neil MacPhail

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THE climate change group Highland Adapts has made a new appointment as it gears up to cope with the inevitable changes the issue is bringing to the Highlands.

The Highland Adapts partnership, which aims to develop a region-based, partnership approach to climate change adaptation, has appointed Emma Beswick as its principal project manager.

Highland Adapts aims to pioneer a fair, inclusive and integrated approach to adapting to climate change. The initiative will seek to involve communities in all aspects of its work, recognising there is no “one size fits all” approach to climate action.

The initiative will also work proactively to ensure that disadvantaged and under-represented groups are involved and benefit equally.

Highland Adapts says the impacts of climate change have already been felt across the region, from damage to infrastructure to disruption of vital services, and a shift in growing seasons. The partnership agrees work in the Highlands to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will contribute to limiting the extent of future climate change but it “cannot turn back the clock”.

Past and present-day emissions mean that the rate of climate change is set to intensify over the coming decades, and it is recognised that there is a need to develop plans now for how we are going to adapt.

Climate Adapts says Emma brings a wealth of experience and a passion for climate action to the role, having established both MOO Food and the Highland Good Food Partnership among many other initiatives in the past few years.

She said: “It’s really important to both myself and Highland Adapts that our response to climate change is fundamentally driven by the needs and aspirations of our communities, and we’ll be taking the initiative forward firmly on that basis.”

Councillor Trish Robertson, head of Highland Council’s climate change working group, welcomed the appointment.

“The council recognises the important role that Highland Adapts will play in better understanding the opportunities and risks that climate change will present,” she said.

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