The Climate Change Act 2008 introduced a new power for the Secretary of State to direct “reporting authorities” (companies with functions of a public nature such as water and energy utilities) to prepare reports on how they are assessing and acting on the risks and opportunities from a changing climate.
In this first round of reporting (2009-11), 91 organisations (reporting authorities) have been issued with Directions to report.
Reporting authorities must:
- follow the requirements as outlined in their Direction to report
- have regard to Statutory Guidance which sets out the processes that organisations need to go through to assess the risks from climate change and draw up adaptation plans
Forestry Commission England was invited to prepare this Climate Change Risk Assessment under the Adaptation Reporting Powers of the Climate Change Act. Although Forestry Commission England is not a priority reporting organisation or statutory undertaker, it was invited to report as;
‘England's woodlands are important national assets which are both vulnerable to climate change and have a valuable role in helping people adapt to its effects’