New tool maps England's climate change hotspots

University of Manchester researchers have worked on the new website which aims to support fairer decision-making and policy creation on climate change.

The impacts of climate change will not be equal or fair and, without action, could increase existing disadvantage. This message was reinforced in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th Assessment report . And now for the first time in England, on a publicly available website, we are able to see this effect mapped across the country at a neighbourhood level. Climate Just, a powerful new website with mapping tool, has been launched today by Climate UK and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, in partnership with the Environment Agency and the University of Manchester.

The website aims to help practitioners in England to address issues of social disadvantage and climate change. It provides detailed mapping of ‘hot spots’ across the country, and a huge amount of supporting information, tools and resources to support fairer decision-making and policy creation.

Climate Just has been developed to support people working with vulnerable groups in a range of public services and other agencies. In particular, it will provide assistance to people working in spatial planning, housing, public health, social care, and environment roles as well as local resilience fora.

Katharine Knox, Programme Manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “Climate change risks compounding existing disadvantage and inequality in the UK. We want to support those with a role in responses to better understand how to take account of these issues. The Climate Just website highlights both what makes people vulnerable and which places may be most climate disadvantaged. We hope this will help organisations to better understand the issues and the actions they can take to respond, whether through community engagement and awareness raising to increase resilience, or direct measures for example to improve flood protection or tackle fuel poverty”.

Mike Peverill, Director of Climate UK, said: “This is an important new resource for tackling climate change in the UK and we have been privileged to manage its development. Climate Just enables us to develop local responses that are fair for everyone, as well as reducing our emissions and increasing resilience. As was highlighted in the Marmot Review, ‘tackling social inequalities in health and tackling climate change must go together’.”

“Climate UK’s network of public service providers are already dedicated to tackling the issue of climate change. Climate Just gives them the evidence and tools to refine those responses and ensure that they are socially just.”

Kit England, Chair of the Core Cities Working Group on Climate Resilience and Adaptation, and who works for climate resilience at Newcastle City Council, said: “The Core Cities are delighted that the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have undertaken this work. Climate Just is a fantastic resource that will enable councils to understand the climate disadvantage in their area and respond accordingly, planning for a changing climate whilst also creating a more equal society.”

“Tackling inequalities is a big priority for Newcastle and the City Council has been fortunate to help advise on the tool’s development and pilot the evidence in a range of uses; its accessibility and clarity makes it very straightforward to apply to a range of scenarios such as flood risk management and local planning.”

Notes for editors

Notes for editors:

1. Climate Just is a free, publicly available resource and can be accessed at www.climatejust.org.uk

2. A launch event will be held at Bristol Aquarium on 4 February 2015, 12.30-16.00, Chaired by Daniel Johns, Head of Adaptation at the Committee on Climate Change. Please contact kristen.guida@climatesoutheast.org.uk to register interest in attending.

3. The information and mapping provided in Climate Just is based on research funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), supported by the Environment Agency, and carried out by the University of Manchester, with additional input from the Centre for Sustainable Energy. Further information on the original research programme can be found on the JRF website.

4. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is a funder of research for social change in the UK. We aim to reduce poverty and strengthen communities for all generations. For more information visit www.jrf.org.uk.

5. Climate UK (registered as Climate Partnership UK) has created the Climate Just website, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in association with Creative Concern and the University of Manchester’s Geographic Information Systems specialists. Climate UK will also host the new website, where it will join a growing family of tools for local climate action.

6. Climate UK is the national face of local climate action. We facilitate a bottom-up, nationwide response to climate change and extreme weather by bringing together knowledge and technical expertise from every part of the UK to tackle the challenges and opportunities we face. We are the network of nine climate change partnerships in England and the three devolved administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Climate UK is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (registered as Climate Partnership UK in 2011, no. 07706735).

7. The Marmot Review, undertaken by Professor Sir Michael Marmot ‘ Fair Society, Healthy Lives’ was published in 2010. It can be accessed on the Institute of Health Equality website.

8. Core Cities is a unique and united local authority voice to promote the role of our cities in driving economic growth and the case for city devolution. We represent the councils of England’s eight largest city economies outside London along with Glasgow and Cardiff. The Core Cities Group has a track record of 15 years as a cross party group, led by the City Leaders.  It is a self selected and self funded group.

Media enquiries to:

Deborah Lintom
Media Relations Officer
Faculty of Humanities
The University of Manchester
Tel: 0161 275 8257, 07789 948 783


Tom Peters
Senior Public Affairs Officer
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Tel: 020 7520 2080, 07972 773 963