Climate change and older Londoners: launch workshop
And off we go! Here’s a round up of our first workshop held earlier this month.
People from eight different older people’s organisations took part in this session, including several Universities of the Third Age and others providing services and representing the interests of older Londoners.
Meet project participants
Watch the video to meet some of those who took part in the workshop and hear what they got out of it.
What we did
During the day we explored:
What climate change is
- what climate change is
- the global implications
- the need to both slow the rate of climate change through cutting carbon (mitigation) and prepare for the unavoidable climate change we are facing (adaptation).
Take a look at the UKCIP presentation ‘Climate change: the big picture’ [PDF 980KB]
Watch Megan introduce her presentation in this video.
Six key climate change drivers for London
We identified the main climate change drivers (trends or forces) likely to affect life in the capital.
- Rising temperatures: warmer winters and hotter summers with heatwaves
- More seasonal rainfall: more in winter, less in summer, with heavier showers
- Floods: particularly from heavy rainfall causing river, surface, sewer and ground water flooding
- Drought: from difficulties harvesting water from heavy rainfall, and increased demand for water in hotter temperatures
- Knock-on effects of climate-related trends elsewhere: such as increased migration as parts of the world become uninhabitable, sources of food and other resources changing or disappearing, and decreased world security.
- Pressure for a low carbon society: driven by more legislation, taxation and changing cultural expectations, plus a need to deal with rising costs and limited availability of goods caused by other knock-on effects of climate change.
Implications for older people and organisations that support them
For each of the drivers, participants highlighted a range of implications for their members/beneficiaries and their own organisations.
Hotter, drier summers:
- will increase the risk of heat stress for older people
- could make venues and offices overheat.
- could pose extra dangers and knock-on detrimental effects for older people
- could both interrupt service delivery and increase the need for them.
Ideas for taking action
We finished the day with a quick brainstorm on potential ways to respond to these issues. Ideas included:
- promote awareness that insulation can help cool buildings in summer as well as retain heat in winter
- host talks on gardening in a dry climate
- map the location of the most vulnerable service users for preventative work and emergency responses.
Download the full list of ideas generated in the workshop. [PDF 80KB]
Everyone enjoyed the day and by the end of the session, had a better understanding of how climate change could affect older Londoners.“My understanding is now more specific than my previous knowledge.”
Judith, Norwood U3A“I intend to use this information in our science group”
Judy, Hackney U3A
Participants are now carrying out a short exercise with their trustees or other key players within their organisation to share insights from the workshop and get further thoughts on the implications of climate change for their work.
I’ll let you know how they get on after the next workshop in December.
Learn more about the NCVO climate change programme.