New tool to inform decision makers on latest climate science

A new online tool is working to make it easier for policy analysts and planners to make important decisions after being launched at COP27.

Researchers from the University of Leeds and the Met Office designed the decision-support tool, collating the latest scientific evidence on the effects of climate initiatives.

This allows policy makers to see how climate action helps to not only tackle the climate crisis improve air quality, health and wellbeing and boost employment.

It’s thought this will result in more informed climate action by allowing stakeholders to see the additional benefits of a policy which can also achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

person using MacBook Pro

Dr Bianca van Bavel, Research Fellow in Climate Change and Health at the Priestley International Centre for Climate at Leeds who is leading the project, said: ‘Research in the field of climate science is moving at pace and there is a pressing need for policymakers to have a way of accessing the latest evidence on climate mitigation and adaptation options, particularly the wider benefits they can bring to communities, health services, businesses as well as the risks they may pose.  

‘By having an awareness and knowledge of the wider impacts of their policies, policymakers can devise policies that achieve maximum benefits and avoid perverse trade-offs.’

Research shows many city authorities are failing to identify the wider impact of climate action. A 2020 study of 521 cities which had adopted strategies to reduce the impact of the climate crisis, around a quarter failed to report any co-benefits of the policies.

The report argues policies designed to deliver and maximise co-benefits are more likely to get support from people.

The UK government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, has welcomed the development of the online tool: ‘We know that immediate and sustained action is needed to prevent the most dangerous impacts of climate change. By adopting a systems approach, we can prioritise solutions that result in the greatest net benefit, both for human health and the environment.’

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters


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