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The key questions addressed in this paper are: What is climate change? What are the impacts on engineering geology practice? Can engineering geologists contribute to mitigation of climate change? What research areas are engineering geologists involved with? Where should the focus for future research be? Following an overview of the papers presented for the ‘Legacy of the Past and Future Climate Change’ session of the 10th Congress of the International Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment, this paper reviews the sources of information and current models of climate change. An overview of some of the potential impacts of climate change on engineering geology practice follows. Attention has been given to areas of active research, the potential impacts on the more routine work of the engineering geologist, and the way in which the engineering geologist can contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation. It is concluded that current planning guidance addresses climate change more fully than current engineering practice, and it is considered that there are considerable research areas open to engineering geologists with regard to potential impacts of climate change. More specifically, it has been noted that current engineering practice draws heavily on empirical approaches to design, and it is suggested that this approach should be reviewed in the context of climate change. Attention is given to a number of mitigating measures, such as ground source heat pumps, carbon sequestration, the ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ approach to achieving sustainability and sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDSs).

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