You are here: Home / EU adaptation policy / Covenant of Mayors / City Profiles / Edinburgh

City Profiles

Edinburgh - United Kingdom

Climate change impacts

If there continues to be a discharge of medium to high amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere then in the East of Scotland it is possible that average daily temperatures will rise between 1 and 2 degrees centigrade by the 2050s. The largest temperature increase up to 2oC will be in the winter months. Summer rainfall will reduce by as much as 10% by 2050s. Winter rainfall is predicted to show a consistent increase of up to 10% by the 2050s. Winters will be milder and wetter with increased risk of storms and flooding. Around the East Scotland coast snowfall will reduce by up to 80%. The sea level in Edinburgh is projected to increase by 10 to 18cm by 2050 and 23 to 39cm by 2095. Weather patterns could become more extreme e.g. high temperatures recorded occasionally today could become the norm by 2080. There will be a greater frequency and intensity of extreme events like storms, floods, heat waves and droughts. The growing season may become longer by 20 to 60 days by 2080. The sea level on the city's northern coast will continue to rise.

Main motivation for taking adaptation action

Climate change is expected to increase the risk of flooding in Edinburgh as well as the frequency of severe weather events such as storms. The city's priority is to increase local resilience to our changing climate and reduce the potential impacts of climate change on our citizens. We need to safeguard our World Heritage Site, protect the city's historic buildings and cultural heritage, as well as protect our essential infrastructure, valued green spaces, and local economy.

Adaptation strategy

Have you already developed an adaptation strategy?
Yes, we have an adaptation strategy
Name of the strategy/ plan (If adopted)
Resilient Edinburgh - Climate Change Adaptation Framework 2014-2020 Resilient Edinburgh Evidence Base & Risk Analysis
Date of strategy/plan approval
Oct 28, 2014
Weblink of the strategy/ plan
Summary of the strategy/plan
Resilient Edinburgh was approved by the City of Edinburgh Council and endorsed by the Edinburgh Sustainable Development Partnership in late 2014. The Framework sets out Edinburgh's strategic approach to increasing resilience to the impacts of climate change and identifies a number of high-level actions to address the most significant climate change risks.

Planned adaptation actions

During 2015 an adaptation action plan will be developed to take the Resilient Edinburgh Adaptation Framework forward.

Good practice / spotlight item

Development of Adaptation Action Plan
The Adaptation Scotland programme is working with the Edinburgh Sustainable Development Partnership to develop an adaptation action plan for the City through the Edinburgh Adapts project. Developing the action plan will require collaboration and capacity building. The Edinburgh Adapts project will support this process by bringing together an Adaptation Task Group to plan and run a series of engagement workshops to address actions identified in the Resilient Edinburgh Adaptation Framework. A shared adaptation action plan for the city will be produced from this. The project was approved by the Edinburgh Sustainable Development Partnership in March 2015. More details about Edinburgh Adapts can be found here.

Climate change impacts

  • Extreme Temperatures
  • Flooding
  • Sea Level Rise
  • Storms
  • Water Scarcity

Key vulnerable sectors

  • Urban
  • Buildings
  • Biodiversity
  • Financial
  • Energy
  • Health
  • Transport


Councillor Andrew Burns


487500 inhabitants

Contact person

James Garry
Corporate Policy and Strategy Officer


Mayors Adapt signatory

Date of officially joining Mayors Adapt

Jan 13, 2015

Last Update

Sep 26, 2016

Document Actions