Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience: Standards and their application

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Date(s) - 06/09/2022
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Institution of Civil Engineers


Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience: Standards and their application

Hazards Forum hybrid event at the Institution of Civil Engineers, One Great George Street, Westminster


The world is already experiencing an increasing frequency of extreme weather events and other climate change impacts.  Countries, organisations and communities need to develop adaptation solutions and implement action to respond to the impacts of climate change that are already happening, as well as prepare for future impacts.

Adaptation is the process of adjusting in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli and their effects or impacts. It refers to changes in processes, practices, and structures to moderate potential damages or to benefit from opportunities associated with climate change. Adaptation standards are powerful tools that support organisations in their climate change adaptation journey by demonstrating best practice.

This event aims to:

–          highlight best practice adaptation standards and how they have been used successfully across different sectors and industries;

–          bring together adaptation practitioners and specialists with a wide range of interested stakeholders.


Swenja Surminski, Managing Director, Climate and Sustainability, Marsh McLennan

Swenja is Managing Director Climate and Sustainability at Marsh McLennan, a member of the UK’s Committee on Climate Change – Adaptation Committee, and Chair of the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative. She also holds a research post at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, part of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Swenja Surminski has been Head of Adaptation Research at the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics, overseeing research projects on climate risk management, finance and resilience strategies since 2017.

A political scientist and ecological economist by training, her work embraces environmental, social and economic perspectives, with a focus on urban communities and the private sector. Swenja is a contributing author to the IPCC, and was lead author of the UK’s Climate Change Risk Assessment 2 and 3. Her work focuses on capacity building, translation and knowledge transfer between science, policy and industry, building on her work in the insurance industry and as advisor to governments, private sector and civil society, including as Visiting Academic at the Bank of England. She appears regularly in print, TV and online media.

Session title: Delivering adaptation and climate resilience – insights from research and practice

 Tim Reeder BSc, CSci, FCIWEM, Climate Change Consultant

Tim has over forty years’ experience in the environmental field and has been involved in climate change issues for most of that time. He was a contributing author to the IPCC 4th assessment report, the UKCP09 projections report and the second National Climate Change Risk Assessment. He is an advisor to the London Climate Change partnership, which he helped to set up

He was the Project Scientist for the Environment Agency’s Thames Estuary 2100 project, which looked at the future of the Thames Barrier and flood risk management in the Thames Estuary and pioneered the concept of Adaptation Pathways. He chaired the panel which has produced the new British standard 8631 on Decision making and Adaptation Pathways. He has written several papers on climate change, uncertainty and decision making and continues to contribute to climate change adaptation practice and policy, working in the UK and abroad

Session title: Adaptation Pathways and the Thames Estuary 2100 Plan.

Summary: Tim Reeder will outline how the concept of Adaptation Pathways was developed during the production of the Thames Estuary plan and how this has led to the production of BS8631 “Adaptation to climate change — Using adaptation pathways for decision making — Guide”.

He will cover how the development of adaptation pathways has progressed through national and international  cooperation. This has led to extensive exchange of practice and learning from experience. The Thames Estuary plan is currently the subject of its first ten year review and is showing the benefits of having an adaptive approach.

Adaptation pathways provide a generic approach to tackling uncertainty when addressing climate change adaptation and this will be illustrated through explanation and illustration of the key principles in BS8631.

Katherine Drayson, Strategy and Planning Manager, City Planning Directorate, TfL  (Transport for London)

Katherine has worked in the environment sector for 16 years in roles within academia, consultancies, charities, and the public sector. She is currently a Strategy and Planning Manager in TfL’s City Planning directorate, responsible for helping embed green infrastructure and climate change adaptation into London’s transport networks. For example, she was responsible for the publication of TfL’s Adaptation Reporting Power submission to Defra.

Session title: From risk assessment to standards at TfL

Summary: Following the publication of TfL’s most detailed and comprehensive climate risk assessment to date, Katherine will outline how TfL is using and embedding the findings in TfL’s processes and decision-making.

Event Chair: Jonny Krzyzosiak

To book your place on this in-person event, please visit the Institution of Civil Engineers’ website.


Ahead of our September event, we have produced two pre-recorded webinars. Our first webinar in this series features Dr Christopher White speaking about ‘Climate Change and weather extremes: the case for adaptation’.

Watch the webinar here


In our second webinar, we join Professor John Dora for a presentation on ‘Adaptation to climate change’.

Watch the webinar here



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