More droughts, floods and heatwaves: a future to prepare for?
In July 2016 the Adaption Sub-Committee of the Committee on Climate Change published the evidence report for the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017. The report presents an independent risk assessment and an assessment of the opportunities of climate change for the UK. The report also pinpoints where the Government should take immediate action.
A requirement of the Climate Change Act 2008 is that a risk assessment must be carried out every five years. The Adaption Sub-Committee’s report will provide information for a report that is presented in Parliament in January 2017 and will also inform the succeeding development of the National Adaptation Programme in 2018.
What does the report tell us?
The Adaption Sub-Committee highlighted six areas in the report where there is the potential for huge climate change impacts and where there could be more done to manage the risks.
These are related to;
- risks of flooding and coastal change
- the impact of high temperatures on health and wellbeing
- risks to natural capital
- risks of future water shortages
- impacts on the global food system
- risks arising from new and emerging pests and diseases.
Five of these priority action areas are the responsibility of Defra, spanning across most of the work of the department. This means that the 25 Year Environment Plan and further policy development and implementation stemming from it could provide an important backbone for future government actions to manage the impacts of climate change on the environment and natural capital.
An amazing effort has been put into the preparation of the Adaption Sub-Committee’s evidence report and there is now interest from across the world in duplicating the methodology it has used. More than eighty leading academics contributed to the assessment, collecting and analysing socio-economic and scientific evidence on almost 60 climate change opportunities and risks. More than 50 employees throughout the Defra network and throughout Whitehall have participated in the 3-year project.
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Kirsty Rogers, Pali Ltd(0) Comments
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