UK ‘strikingly unprepared’ for climate change

The Climate Change Committee has published a new appraisal of the outcomes needed to build climate resilience across the economy – and the extent of policies and delivery to meet them.

The report states that there is a “striking lack of climate preparation from Government” and says that despite improved sectoral planning by Government for key climate risks, ‘fully credible’ planning for climate change – where nearly all required policy milestones are in place – is only found for five of the 45 adaptation outcomes examined in the report.

In none of the 45 adaptation outcomes was their sufficient evidence that reductions in climate exposure and vulnerability are happening at the rates required to manage risks appropriately. For around one-quarter of outcomes, available indicators show insufficient evidence of progress.

Baroness Brown, chair of the Adaptation Committee, said: “The Government’s lack of urgency on climate resilience is in sharp contrast to the recent experience of people in this country. People, nature and infrastructure face damaging impacts as climate change takes hold. These impacts will only intensify in the coming decades.”

The report states that wider policy priorities, including net-zero and nature recovery, will fail if adaptation to climate change is not incorporated from the start, and that the absence of robust monitoring and evaluation is also a barrier.

The Government will publish the third National Adaptation Programme (NAP3) this summer. The Committee’s report makes several recommendations for that new programme.

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