Farming News - Ashden comment on the Committee on Climate Change adaptation report

Ashden comment on the Committee on Climate Change adaptation report

The UK's independent climate advisors' assessment of the government's latest plans to protect the country from worsening climate impacts such as flooding, extreme heat and water scarcity is damning.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has yet again called out the government's approach to adaptation in its Third National Adaptation Programme (NAP3), as ‘not working’, ‘inadequately funded’ and lacking ‘the frameworks needed to track adaptation and climate risk effectively’. The CCC’s conclusion is stark ‘if the current programme is not developed and strengthened, the UK will be exposed to higher levels of damaging risks from climate change that have the potential to fundamentally compromise aspects of our society.’

Will Walker, UK Policy Lead at Ashden, commented: "Make no mistake the government's inadequate and ill-prepared plans to build climate resilience will cost more lives and livelihoods if not urgently addressed.

“In the 2022 heatwave, 60,000 Europeans died with heat-related causes, and these temperatures are expected to become the norm by 2050. Without accelerating emissions reductions and putting adaptation front and centre in the next Parliament, as the CCC recommends, we'll all pay the price but those least well off, with fewer options to cope will suffer the most.”

Walker points to various projects where adaptation measures are up and running that the government should learn from and do more to support. “The good news is that we know what works and, when delivered at the local level, measures to increase resilience are often more cost-effective and deliver multiple co-benefits such as more comfortable buildings, cleaner air, and green and blue spaces that increase physical and mental well-being.

“Ashden works with communities, local authorities and SMEs across the country that are pioneering climate solutions. For example, Ashden Award winner Enfield Council in partnership with charity Thames 21 have greatly reduced flood risk in their community through local nature-based solutions such as tree planting, sustainable urban drainage solutions and river restoration. But initiatives like these need bolder government leadership, a supportive policy framework, and greater investment to be scaled up and rolled out everywhere.”