Government’s climate adaptation plans ‘not working’: CCC

The Climate Change Committee’s assessment says the UK’s current approach "falls short once again".

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By George Smeeton

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Commenting on the Climate Change Committee’s assessment of the Government’s Third National Adaptation Programme (NAP3) [1] Gareth Redmond-King, Head of International Programme at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said:

“As this government slows action to tackle climate change, their advisers remind us they’re also doing nothing like enough to adapt to the dangerous impacts from it. Climate impacts are getting worse every year as we heat the planet. Not investing to adapt our infrastructure and services is a bit like not bothering to insure your house: it might save you some money in the short-run, but it’ll cost you an awful lot more when your roof falls in.

“And this doesn’t just affect dangers from climate impacts here. The Climate Change Committee acknowledges that impacts outside the UK are one of the biggest ways climate risks threaten our economy. We import half our food, and half of the UK’s food supply chains are in climate impact hotspots. If we don’t support other nations to adapt, then harvests of staples like rice, bananas, and tea will fall, leading to shortages and higher prices.”

Tom Lancaster, land analyst at ECIU said: “The inadequacy of the Governments plans on climate change adaptation beggars belief, when all around us there are increasingly alarming consequences of our past failures to adapt. Relentless rain this winter is likely to lead to a terrible harvest come the summer. Floods last year hit yields, just as droughts did the year before.

“As the CCC recognise in this report, the new environmental land management schemes will be crucial to helping farmers manage these impacts, making a vital contribution to our future food security by ‘aiding resilience to ongoing climate change’. Whoever wins the next election will need to fix problems with the schemes, and guarantee enough funding to buffer us and farmers against what’s to come.”

Notes to editors:

1. The Climate Change Committee’s assessment of the Government’s Third National Adaptation Programme (NAP3) is published on 13 March -

For more information or for interview requests:

George Smeeton, Head of Communications, ECIU, Tel: 07894 571 153, email: