Defra urges firms to prepare for climate change

4th July 2013


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Business & Industry ,
  • Corporate governance ,
  • Adaptation

Author

IEMA

Organisations must take action to adapt to the changing climate, says Defra, as figures confirm the world experienced "unprecedented" extreme weather during 2001-10

The environment department has called on businesses, local authorities and communities to consider how they will cope with the impact of future climate change.

In the its first national adaptation programme (NAP), Defra draws on the findings of its climate change risk assessment, published last year, and outlines the actions needed by organisations and government bodies to ensure the UK’s climate change resilience.

Defra urges private sector firms to take more action to incorporate adaptation into business models, and warns, in particular, of the risks of supply chain disruption, highlighting recent research from PwC that found climate change impacts overseas are likely to cost the UK economy hundreds of millions of pounds by 2050.

The NAP says the government will ensure the country’s infrastructure is designed and built to cope with extreme weather events and will seek to “build the resilience” of native species and habitats. It will also offer support to local authorities and organisations to develop a business case for adaptation. Help will be targeted at small and medium-sized businesses, so they better understand how climate change will impact their operations as well as how to prepare for change through the development of tools and sharing data.

“The government will also encourage businesses to review their strategic frameworks and models, promote knowledge sharing in areas of good practice and target support for those sectors facing the highest risks or greatest barriers to adaptation,” states the NAP.

The Environment Agency’s climate ready support service is cited as providing the bulk of the government’s advice to businesses on adaptation, but the NAP also highlights the guidance published by bodies including IEMA, EEF, the British Retail Consortium and the Federation for Small Businesses.

“Recent floods and droughts have highlighted the need to plan ahead and prepare for changing conditions,” said environment minister Lord de Mauley, launching the NAP.

“Businesses, government and local communities must ensure they are equipped to deal with the challenges ahead and embrace the opportunities that arise, both at home and overseas.”

The 184-page NAP document outlines 31 government objectives on climate change adaption covering infrastructure, buildings , business, local government and the natural environment. The NAP primarily focuses on England, with the devolved governments each planning to publish their own adaptation plans before the end of the year.

The UK government’s call for better climate change adaptation came as the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) published data confirming that 2001-10 was the warmest decade since records began in 1850, and the second wettest since 1901.

According to the WMO, more national temperature records were broken between 2001 and 2010 than in any previous decade, global sea levels rose 3mm a year – almost double the rate seen during the 20th Century – and 2010 was the wettest year on record.

2001-10 also saw cyclone activity in the North Atlantic Basin rise to levels not experienced since 1855, and, in the North Indian Ocean, the deadliest tropical cyclone ever seen struck in May 2008.

WMO figures confirm that more than 370,000 people died as a result of extreme weather and climate conditions during 2001-10, 20% more than the previous decade.

Subscribe

Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.


Transform articles

A social conscience

With a Taskforce on Inequality and Social-related Financial Disclosures in the pipeline, Beth Knight talks to Chris Seekings about increased recognition of social sustainability

6th June 2024

Read more

Disinformation about the impossibility of averting the climate crisis is part of an alarming turn in denialist tactics, writes David Burrows

6th June 2024

Read more

David Symons, FIEMA, director of sustainability at WSP, and IEMA’s Lesley Wilson, tell Chris Seekings why a growing number of organisations are turning to nature-based solutions to meet their climate goals

6th June 2024

Read more

A system-level review is needed to deliver a large-scale programme of retrofit for existing buildings. Failure to do so will risk missing net-zero targets, argues Amanda Williams

31st May 2024

Read more

Chris Seekings reports from a webinar helping sustainability professionals to use standards effectively

31st May 2024

Read more

Although many organisations focus on scope 1 and 2 emissions, it is vital to factor in scope 3 emissions and use their footprint to drive business change

31st May 2024

Read more

IEMA submits response to the Future Homes Standard consultation

31st May 2024

Read more

What is the role for nature in the Climate Change Act? Sophie Mairesse reports

20th May 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close