The Climate Change Committee has issued a stark warning to the government, accusing it of failing to get the UK ready for the impacts of climate breakdown.

In a report focused on adaptation, the committee pointed out the impacts of the climate emergency which we are already experiencing here in the UK, such as last year’s heatwaves, and said the government “has been too slow to react.”

Sarah Mukherjee MBE, CEO of IEMA, said:

“Climate change is already having a visible impact here in the UK, we’re seeing increased incidences of flooding and drought, and heatwaves causing excess and intolerable heat in buildings.

“Climate risks are increasing faster than our current adaptation action; communities and businesses are becoming more vulnerable.

“While the adaptation measures that we need to implement are largely known, it is critical that we remove the multiple barriers to their funding and implementation.

“I welcome the calls for clearer and more stable policy – as with the transition to net zero, this is critical for decision-makers to plan and invest for the long-term climate resilience.”

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) is an independent, statutory body established under the Climate Change Act 2008.

It says its purpose “is to advise the UK and devolved governments” on areas of climate policy including greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and explains to parliament how the UK is contributing to global heating, as well as what could be done to prepare us for that heating.

Baroness Brown, Chair of the Adaptation Committee at the CCC said:

“Our last major assessment of the UK’s climate risk found that climate impacts have increased in the UK but that actions to prepare us are not keeping pace.

“It is no secret that the UK is now experiencing a range of damaging consequences of climate change, but adaptation in the UK remains chronically underfunded and overlooked.

“This must change.”

The government is due to publish its Third National Adaptation Plan (NAP3) soon. This will provide the government with the opportunity to explain how its working to make the UK ready for the impacts of the climate emergency, and will show its response to this criticism from the CCC.

IEMA published guidance for members on climate adaptation, which provided an introduction to adaptation from a strategic perspective and from a practical one. The guidance includes a section that focuses on finance and resources (on page 22).


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