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Government publishes updated plan to tackle climate change

The government has updated the National Adaptation Programme (NAP) and remains committed to tackling the effects of a changing climate on the UK.

Waves crashing against a sea wall (Credit: Getty Images)
Waves crashing against a sea wall (Credit: Getty Images)

The second National Adaptation Programme 2018 to 2023 setting out an ambitious strategy for dealing with the effects of a changing climate has been published by the government today (Thursday).

It comes after the Climate Change Risk Assessment was published in January 2017 and addresses the risks affecting communities across England. It also sets out the government’s ongoing investment and work to tackle these risks.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Climate Change Act (2008) and the programme commits the government, business and local communities to actions recognising the trend towards warmer winters, hotter summers and changing rainfall patterns.

The UK leads the world in tackling climate change – since 1990 we have cut emissions by more than 40 per cent while growing the economy by more than two thirds, the best performance on a per person basis than any other G7 nation.

Some of the work being carried out includes a programme of work led by government to increase the security of water supply, to mitigate the impact of drought and dry weather events. This includes working with water companies to facilitate the construction of large water infrastructure, where it is needed, through the development of the National Policy Statement for water and engaging the public through strategies to reduce demand.

Environment Minister, Lord Gardiner said:

Our changing climate is one of the most serious environmental challenges that we face as a nation and that is why we are taking joint action between government, business and local communities. This work is improving flood defences across the country and securing our critical food and water supplies, so we are climate ready. The latest National Adaptation Programme will help us develop our long-term plans to tackle these risks so we can continue our work to protect the nation today and for future generations.

As part of the NAP, the government has set out a strategy for inviting infrastructure operators to report on the actions they are taking to adapt to climate change.

The government will work with sectors and provide support to organisations as they develop their reporting processes, which will help them understand and take action to address the impacts of climate on their businesses. A full list of reporting organisations will be published later in the year.

In the last reporting cycle, 86 organisations completed adaptation reports. The Energy Networks Association, the industry body of companies that carry electricity and gas to UK homes and businesses, reported under the Adaptation Reporting Power (ARP).

They identified very clearly the climate risks their industry is facing, presented the risks and opportunities arising and set out actions they are implementing to adapt. For instance, they include work on flooding adaptation, on reviewing critical industry standards, and an ongoing monitoring of climate impacts.

The NAP complements the government’s Clean Growth Strategy which sets out how the whole country can benefit from low carbon economic opportunities through the creation of new technologies and new businesses, which creates jobs and prosperity across the UK, while meeting our ambitious national and targets to tackle climate change.

Published 19 July 2018