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Climate change

Stormy seas at ScarboroughOur water and waste water services are dependent on the weather and climate.

Scientific evidence tells us that the climate is changing at an unprecedented rate because of human greenhouse gas emissions.

We've already seen early signs of this change, plant's leaf buds are opening earlier each Spring and sea levels are rising along our coastline.  Latest observed weather data is showing changes to rainfall patterns in our region, for example with more of our winter rainfall falling in fewer but heavier rainfall events. 

There is overwhelming scientific consensus that our weather will become variable in the coming decades. Winters are likely to be warmer and wetter and our Summers drier and hotter. There are also likely to be more frequent and more extreme weather events which can cause significant damage and disruption, for example storms which can cause flooding.

What we're doing about climate change

We need to make sure that we can maintain the high levels of service our customers expect, now and in the future.  So we're doing three things:

Climate Change Strategy 3 circles

  1. Preparing for the changing climate by making sure that we're ready to deal with the effects it may bring - this is known as adaptation.  To do this, we need to make sure that our sites, people and processes are all as resilient as they can be. 
  2. Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions in order to play our part in minimising future climate change - this is known as mitigation.  For example, we're being more energy efficient and investing in renewable 'green' energy. 
  3. Working in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure an effective response to climate change.  We are communicating and collaborating with our customers, regulators, government and many others.

Our position on climate change

We assessed the latest evidence, opportunities and risks for our climate change position paper. Six statements that summarise our position on climate change:

  1. The climate has been changing and will continue to change
  2. Climate change presents risks to our strategic objectives and the services we provide
  3. We'll quantify the climate change risks that face our business
  4. We'll develop long-term plans to manage the climate change risks that face our business
  5. We'll promote activities to address our climate change risks
  6. We'll drive initiatives to empower every employee to reduce carbon emissions and prepare for the changing climate

Our climate change strategy

Our climate change strategy describes how we are working to affordably maintain and enhance our water and waste water services, and to cost- effectively reduce our carbon footprint. The action set out in our climate change strategy ensures we are effectively managing today's risks and laying the necessary foundations to affoCarbon Trust Logordably maintain services for the long term. It is imperative that we respond to the challenges presented by climate change if we are affordably meet our customers' priorities and achieve our vision: taking responsibility for the water environment for good.

Our position paper and strategy can be found in the downloads box at the top right of this page.

Please help us to help you

There are many ways you can help us maintain your water and waste water services and keep your bills as low as possible.

Be more water efficient with our free water saving pack and advice.
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Everything you need to know about preparing for heavy rain and what to do during a flood.
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Our performance

See how we're reducing our carbon footprint and creating more and more of our own energy
Carbon Management

Read about our environmental investment and achievements
How we perform

See how we supply Yorkshire's water and our plans for the next 25 years
Water resources

Find out how we would continue to supply water to the Yorkshire region in the event of a drought
Drought Plan                                                                                            

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