Don't start from scratch, draw on evidence, tools & guidance that already exist


Identifying potential public health risks arising from hotter, drier summers © Climate UK



There has been an enormous investment in tools, data and resources which aim to support decision-makers and decision-making in responding to climate impacts and extreme weather, providing many possible resources that can support local responses to climate change. However it may be difficult to know where to start or to be clear how these tools can address issues like social vulnerability and support equitable responses to the issues. Many local governmental and non-governmental organisations have undertaken activities, and learning from their experiences can be a good starting point.


Tools can take many forms – from workshop models to online mapping systems. There are a number of tools available, some providing an overview of adaptation, some designed specifically to cover individual steps in detail. The kind of issues tools can help with are: awareness raising with different organisations; learning about the impacts of extreme weather; and understanding how to support community resilience.


This section primarily focuses on tools and resources to support climate adaptation but a number of resources pertaining to cold weather, fuel poverty and climate mitigation are also listed in the Resources index page. Details are provided under each separate resource on how it might be used for addressing issues of social vulnerability and developing responses which help to reduce inequalities.


Users of this resource should be aware of some of the inherent limitations of decision-support tools. Tools are dependent on the capacity of the person using them to understand what they want to get out of the process and how the tools should be used. Some tools have the potential to reinforce the inequalities between people and places that the information in this website is designed to help you to reduce - look under the 'Questions to Ask' on Section 4. How can we do it? on the toolbar above. Tools cannot make decisions for you, they can only support your decision-making process. See the Resources index page for the list of tools and resources. 





There are a number of issues to consider when using existing resources which need to be considered and overcome


Identifying hot-spot locations for particular climate hazards © Climate UK

Things to bear in mind are:

  • There are a significant number of different tools and guidance documents to choose from that can make it difficult to know where to start and what tool is best for the specific job that you have in mind. This website helps by making you aware of what’s available and how tools and resources can be used - a selection of tools are available from our Resource library.
  • Despite the large number of existing tools and resources, there are few which explicitly deal with how to develop socially just adaptation responses and none which provide as complete a set of evidence as is contained in the ClimateJust map tool. Many tools touch on or indirectly assist with related issues but it is not always clear how they can be used to take account of social vulnerability.
  • Connections between tools and resources that are similar or that can be used in conjunction with one another are often poor. Therefore it is important to have a broad understanding of the tools and resources available which have a role to play in assisting organisations involved in local service provision.
  • Many tools and resources may have been produced with a different set of users in mind. Using partnership approaches can often bring together users who have different skills and experience and allow knowledge to be shared.
  • Some organisations may use different terms to mean something, and sometimes the same term is used but with a different meaning. It is only through a process of engagement and discussion that misunderstandings can be identified and a shared understanding developed.
  • Some tools operate on a workshop model basis and this can have considerable resource implications. However, the process of shared working and engagement can have important benefits too, and this can justify the use of additional resources in some instances.
  • Tools might be out-of-date and not reflect current best practice so users need to verify that a tool is still appropriate at an early stage.
  • Users may not appreciate the implications and limitations of some of the underlying methods which tools employ. It is good practice to use a range of tools and perspectives to inform the decision-making process.
  • Good facilitation and support will be important in using tools – the degree to which positive outcomes achieved will depend on how they are used, who is involved, the quality of data fed in, etc.





Use these tools, resources and case studies



Scoring and comparing climate risks to a local area © Climate UK


A range of resources are available on this site to help you to identify and support vulnerable people who may be disproportionately affected by climate impacts or particular policy or practice responses.


Local authorities, representatives of the voluntary and community sector, the Environment Agency and Joseph Rowntree Foundation have helped in the process of identifying which tools and resources are likely to be the most useful but the list is not intended to be exhaustive. It is also important to stress that the list is also not intended to act as a formal endorsement of specific tools and resources, rather it aims to raise awareness of what is available to support your work. 


The materials given in the list can help you to:

  • Make good use of your resources for long-term benefit (although some initial input may be needed);
  • Follow structured approaches that can help partnerships to improve the efficiency of policies that are delivered to communities;
  • Make a strong and defensible case for adaptation (or tackling carbon emissions or fuel poverty), including from a social justice perspective;
  • Capture data that will help users to realise actions and to evaluate their effectiveness;
  • Look at climate-related impacts from a range of perspectives and make better informed decisions as a result;
  • Learn from others’ experiences.



Decide what you want to do and at what level


  1. Use the Adaptation Tools diagram (right) and the Resources index page to locate a tool relevant for your sector, purpose, or the vulnerable group that you may be trying to support. Tools and resources identified here from external websites come with some introductory text and an explanation of how they can help in the delivery of actions which aim to reduce social vulnerability, build resilience and develop socially just responses to climate change and extreme weather events. Other tools are also available on fuel poverty and climate change mitigation which are not covered here.


  1. Look at examples and case studies showing what others have done. Each of the Climate Just case studies follows a particular structure. After summarising its aims, and who might benefit from reading it, the case study gives in-depth coverage on the steps taken in order to realise the action; including making a case for action, guiding principles and next steps. A number of external case studies are also referenced from other sections of this website. 


  1. Review the ‘How to’ documents for an insight into how particular tools, resources and data were used by other local authorities when planning their responses to climate change, or how you can do other tasks related to the materials in this website.


  1. Before committing to using one particular tool or resource, there are a number of questions to ask and actions to take:


  1. Think about the characteristics of the potentially vulnerable group that you are addressing: Are you mainly interested in people who are older? Or who have pre-existing health conditions? Is your primary interest in people who live in particular housing types? Look for tools which cover these groups and case studies that are similar. However, it is also important to recognise that the most extremely socially vulnerable people often don’t belong in a single vulnerable group. Even if you have a primary interest in a particular group it is important to think about how vulnerabilities within the group may differ. For example the vulnerabilities of older people will vary as a result of income, housing, mobility and social networks.


  1. See also: Which places are disadvantaged in relation to climate impacts and extreme weather events?


  1. Think about the main issue that you are trying to address: Is it health? Or might it be housing? There will be tools that can help you with the particular sector that you are working in. However, many issues cut across sectors and you might need to think about the other partners that you can involve.


  1. See more about working in partnership.


  1. Think about the data that you have access to and data which you can access relatively easily. Where a tool suggests collecting data, ensure that this can be updated relatively easily otherwise the tool may become redundant.


  1. See Section 5. Further Resources (above) for information about using data and ideas provided in this website. For example officers at Wigan Council are using their own data holdings with data from the Climate Just map tool as a means of producing local adaptation plans and Hampshire County Council have developed their own data resources based on the framework published in earlier JRF reports.


  1. Try to select the resources that contain information that may be relevant to the geographical area or social context in which you are trying to implement a strategy. Not all guidance documents and case studies are easy to transfer. For example, affluent areas may be able to draw upon more financial resources than are available in less affluent areas. Some communities may also have better social networks than others. If taking an idea from a very different geographical and social context, you may need to consider additional measures to make that strategy effective in your area.


  1. Think about the methods employed in the tools you are using and consider the ways that some methods may favour some groups over others. E.g. in terms of who has a say in developing responses or how people and places are represented such as within ‘cost-benefit’ approaches.


  1. Consider using a range of different approaches, tools and methods to gather different perspectives on the issues that are being tackled.


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Where to go for more information


The tables below list tools, reports and other resources which you can access after exploring the materials on this site. Each of the listed tools has a short introduction which explains its significance for developing socially just adaptation responses or responses relating to the other themes covered in this website. The section ends with a reference list and links to where you can find further information about some of the topics covered. 

On this page:



Adaptation tools and resources (see also Diagram of tools and resources)



Type of Resource

Make the case



Climate Just Presentation

Presentation to outline why Local Authorities and their partners need to take a socially just approach to building more resilient communities.

Climate Just


Get started and delivering adaptation



CLASP Adaptation Resource Pack

Pack to guide local authorities through the process of getting started with adaptation activity and embedding adaptation into local authority processes.

Climate Change North West

Resource pack/process

Adaptation Scotland Tools and Resource web pages

A set of resources together with a guiding process aimed at a range of audiences including the public sector, businesses and communities to help support adaptation and building resilience. Tools can be searched according to sector, stage and resource type.

Adaptation Scotland

Resource pack/compilation

Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE) 

A set of resources for local action with a global reach. It covers case studies, tools and a Don’t Panic guide to getting started on your Adaptation Journey.

EcoAdapt and Island Press

Resource pack/compilation

Understanding local vulnerability



Climate Just Mapping Tool

Set of maps showing vulnerability to climate change.

Climate Just

Map tool

Assess current & future climate change



Local Climate Impacts Profile (LCLIP)

Designed to support the UKCIP Climate Adaptation Wizard, this tool supports the assessment of past weather-related events and their impacts as a basis for understanding the possible impacts of future weather-related events.


Guidance and Spreadsheets

UKCP09 Projections

In depth data and maps on predicted changes due to climate change.


Data and mapping

UKCP18 Projections

The UKCP18 project will update the UKCP09 projections over UK land areas and update UKCP09 projections of sea-level rise, giving greater regional detail, further analysis of the risks we face, both nationally and globally, and provide more information on potential extremes and impacts of climate change.


Data and mapping

UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017

Official assessment of climate change risks in the UK.



UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017 Evidence Report & Synthesis

Independent assessment covering natural environment, infrastructure, people and the built environment, Business and industry and international dimensions.

Committee on Climate Change


Record how you have been affected



Climate Adaptation Wizard

This long-standing tool provides the basis for supported decision-making in relation to climate change risk assessment and climate adaptation planning.

UKCIP/Environment Agency

Documents and online materials; connected tools

Severe Weather Impacts Monitoring System (SWIMS)

A data collection tool to encourage learning around the impacts of and responses to past extreme weather events as the basis for improved future decision-making.

Kent County Council

Online Tool

Engaging communities



Community Resilience Toolkit

Aimed at local communities and the organisations working with them, this set of resources supports the process of understanding local needs and developing emergency plans based on those needs.

Cabinet Office (UK)


Reports, checklists and case studies

Prepare an adaptation plan




Risk and vulnerability assessment tool, to aid the strategic planning of climate change adaptation responses – focuses on current vulnerability to flooding and heat stress with an evaluation of risk factors where data is available.

GRaBS partnership

Online tool

Evaluate Adaptation Plan




Aimed at managers wanting to evaluate climate change action and interventions within their organisations. Supplements stage 5 of the UKCIP Adaptation Wizard.

UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP)

Online Tool

Target a specific sector



Adapting UK dwellings to reduce overheating during heatwaves: Retrofit Advice Tool (CREW)

Aimed at designers, decision makers and householders to support the assessment of options for retrofitting homes based on property type and characteristics.

Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD) and De Montfort University.

Adapting Buildings

(Online Tool)

Built Infrastructure for Older People’s Care in Conditions of Climate Change (BIOPICCC) Toolkit

Aimed at anyone with a role in supporting health and social care for older people. Resources cover understanding needs and protecting infrastructure.

Durham University

Health and Social Care (Online Tool)

Environment Agency Health and Wellbeing Toolkit

This resource pulls together a range of existing information and tools specifically to support the work of Health and Wellbeing Boards.

Environment Agency

Facts, case studies, tools and resources for the Health and Social Care sector

Strategic Health Asset Planning and Evaluation (SHAPE)

A mapping tool principally aiming to support strategic planning of health services and infrastructure but which has a role in providing more effective adaptation solutions.


Health Sector (Online Tool)

Other tools



Adaptation Workbook

Adaptation Scotland’s step-by-step guide on how public bodies can respond to the threats and opportunities associated with a changing climate.

SNIFFER (Scotland)

PDFs and Spreadsheets

Identifying Adaptation Options (AdOpt)

Provides a list of possible adaptation options matched with practical examples and ideas for good practice in adaptation decision-making.


Online Tool

Business Areas Climate Assessment Tool (BACLIAT) Initially aimed at businesses but applicable to any organisation, BACLIAT supports self assessment of the impacts of past events as a means of improving institutional capacity to deal with events in the future.

UKCIP & the Environment Agency

Workshop Guidance

Community Training on Green Infrastructure

Package of training resources to be delivered by professionals seeking to engage with community groups on the need for climate change adaptation.

Climate Change NW

Resource pack

Cold Weather Plan for England

The plan provides the framework for action during specific periods of very cold weather. It includes an ‘equality analysis’ and other resources which can assist local decision-making.

Public Health England/NHS

Reports and action cards for the Health and social care sector

Heatwave Plan for England

The plan provides the framework for action during specific periods of very hot weather. It includes an ‘equality analysis’ and other resources which can assist local decision-making.

Public Health England/NHS

Health and social care sector

Report and actions

Partnership Funding and the Collaborative Delivery of Local Flood Risk Management: A Practical Guide for Lead Local Flood Authorities

Consultants for Defra & the LGA

Interactive PDF

Public Health Outcomes Data Tool

A set of indicators and associated data about public health and health inequalities supporting the Public Health Outcomes Framework. Data Indicators are updated on a regular basis and available at a range of geographies across England.

Public Health England

Data for the Health sector

Six Steps to Flood Resilience

Designed to address the lack of easy-to-use guidance to support the use of novel flood resilience measures in planning, this resource provides a process to follow and resources for further information.

Building Research Establishment, Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Manchester

Guidance document

World Health Organisation Cost Analysis Tool

A controversial tool aimed at the health sector. Read more about issues associated with using cost-benefit analyses to build resilience in our introduction.


Guidance document for the Health sector



Other resources for energy and fuel poverty responses

To follow


Case studies and reports



Type of Resource

A county perspective on social vulnerability assessment and its uses

A grid based approach to estimating social vulnerability and potential exposure to flood and heat-waves. A technical document explaining the way that Hampshire County Council mapped social vulnerability.

Hampshire County Council

Case study

A unitary authority perspective on using the ClimateJust data for local adaptation planning.

Wigan Council

Case Study and how to document

Case studies of adaptation to climate change in south-west England.

Benzie et al (2011)


Impacts of climate change on disadvantaged UK coastal communities.

Zsamboky et al (2011)


Pluvial (rain-related) flooding in urban areas: the invisible hazard.

Houston et al (2011)


Distribution of Carbon Emissions in the UK: Implications for Domestic Energy Policy.

Preston et al (2013)


Getting the measure of fuel poverty. Final Report of the Fuel Poverty Review.

Hills, J. (ed.) (2012)


The Marmot Review: Fair Society, Healthy Lives. Strategic Review of health Inequalities in England post-2010.

Marmot, M. (2010)


Climate Justice, Environmental Justice and Community Action.

Federation for Community Development Learning


Groups vulnerable to climate change.

Wales Council for Voluntary Action (2012)


Social justice and the future of flood insurance: Viewpoint.

O’Neill & O’Neill (2012)


Learning Lessons from the 2007 Floods.

Pitt (2008)


Overheating in new homes - A review of the evidence.

NHBC Foundation

Report (NF46)

Climate change, justice and vulnerability.

Lindley et al (2011)


Socially just adaptation to climate change.


 Jean Welstead et al (2012)




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