UK: Government Announces National Adaptation Programme
The UK is set to be amongst the best prepared nations for the implications of climate change following publication of a groundbreaking study into the threats the country faces.
The Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) highlights the top 100 challenges to the UK and their economy of a changing climate and provides the most compelling evidence yet of the need to increase resilience. The research confirms the UK as a world-leader in understanding climate risk to ensure they can make robust plans to deal with these threats.
In order to provide a reliable baseline for decisions by Government, local authorities and businesses the research does not take into account any future policies or plans. However, a Government report published alongside the CCRA does highlight the many current and future policies already in place and gives details of plans which will address some of the risks identified.
The Government has also today announced a National Adaptation Programme that will prepare the UK for the effects of climate change, including the risks set out in the CCRA. People are encouraged to give their views through a new website on the action needed to tackle the implications of climate change where they live and work.
Speaking at the launch of the CCRA, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said:
“This world class research provides the most comprehensive case yet on why we need to take action to adapt the UK and our economy to the impacts of climate change. It shows what life could be like if we stopped our preparations now, and the consequences such a decision would mean for our economic stability.
“The Climate Change Risk Assessment will be vital in helping us to understand what we need to do to stop these threats becoming a reality. In doing so there is also great potential for growth through UK firms developing innovative products and services tailored to meet the global climate challenges.”
Professor Sir Bob Watson, Chief Scientific Adviser at Defra, said:
“The CCRA is ground-breaking research which puts the UK at the forefront of understanding what the projected changes to our climate will really mean for us.
“For the first time it means we can compare a wide range of risks based on their financial, social and environmental implications. This will be invaluable for Government in prioritising the areas for future policies and investment, and it will help businesses assess what they need to do to ensure they are resilient to the changing climate.”
Lord John Krebs, Chair of the Adaptation Sub-Committee of the Committee on Climate Change, said:
“Without an effective plan to prepare for the risks from climate change the country may sleepwalk into disaster. This report represents an important first step in the process and demonstrates why the UK needs to take action to adapt now. The work of my Committee has found that by taking steps to manage these risks, the UK can reduce the costs of climate change in the future.
“The Government’s forthcoming adaptation programme should tackle barriers to adaptation so that local communities, businesses and households can take action to prepare.”
Dredging Today Staff, January 26, 2012; Image: hrwallingford