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Government sets out adaptation programme to tackle climate impact

The UK Government today announced the third National Adaptation Program (NAP3), laying out a five-year strategic plan to strengthen resilience and protect people, homes and businesses. and our cultural heritage to climate change risks such as floods, droughts and heat waves.

From helping families, schools and hospitals prevent overheating to protecting our food and energy supply chains from disruption, the announcement of the 5th National Adaptation Program three marks a step change in the UK government’s approach to climate adaptation, setting out an ambitious programme. The government is committed to addressing the key climate risks facing the country.

The plan includes commitments to:

  • Adopt a holistic approach to climate resilience in line with the Government’s Resilience Framework, setting out commitments to review standards, assurances and regulations of the infrastructure sectors infrastructure, improving the systems and capabilities that underpin our recovery plan.
  • Expand support to vulnerable communities worldwide and triple adaptation funding through official development assistance to £1.5 billion by 2025. This is the first time such a A domestic program of this type would have a response specific to overseas climate risks, including supporting climate-vulnerable communities around the globe.
  • Protect lives and well-being across the UK, with the new UK Health Security Agency’s Adverse Weather & Health Plan that builds on existing health alert systems. This plan will help the health system better adapt to the increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events.
  • A dedicated Local Government Climate Service pilot will provide easy access to localized climate data. This Met Office tool will help local authorities plan for adaptation by notifying them of hazards such as increasing rainfall and extreme heat.
  • Ensure a healthy and prosperous natural environment through measures in our landmark Environment Act, the Plan for Environmental Land and Water Management Programs, all of which will promote biodiversity, protecting and restoring peatlands, marshes and rivers and the wider natural environment, and improving air quality – helping to meet their Net Zero goals me and build resilience.
  • Developing capacity and capacity for Historical Britain to model the long-term effects of climate change on cultural heritage due to rising temperatures, increased rainfall, sea level rise and extreme weather .
  • Establishment of a senior government official of the Climate Adaptation Commission to oversee cross-sectoral issues of climate adaptation and resilience in government, including preparing for heatwaves heat, floods and droughts, spur further actions to strengthen the UK’s resilience to climate change.

The government has invested billions of dollars in adaptation measures, including through £5.2 billion for flood and coastal plans in the UK, more than £750 million for the Nature Fund for Climate, support nature-based solutions for climate resilience and £80 million to the Green Restoration Challenge Fund, which creates jobs in nature restoration and conservation – all of which play an important role in increasing strengthen the UK’s resilience to climate change.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:

The UK has decarbonised faster than any other G7 country since 1990 – but the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent in the UK, as well as globally, through the increasing frequency and severity of heat waves, floods, droughts and wildfires.

By acting now, through strengthening our infrastructure, promoting a greener economy, and ensuring sustainable food production, we can protect national security, economic stability and overall resilience to these climate challenges. This powerful 5-year plan will ensure a more resilient, sustainable future for future generations.

To stay ahead of future threats, a new £15 million joint research initiative led by Defra and UKRI will equip researchers, policymakers and practitioners to key data practices, skills and incentives they need to ensure proactive adaptation takes place across all areas of government policy.

The plan also outlines how schools and hospitals will develop plans to adapt to a warmer climate, including preventing overheating. Schools will consider using nature-based solutions, including sustainable drainage such as rain gardens and natural shade for outdoor spaces.

The government will also incorporate climate resilience into its industrial and security strategies to protect the country’s energy sector and protect the supply of goods and services from climate-related disruptions. .

£5.2 billion is also being invested in new flood and shoreline structures – and the number of government-funded projects, including nature-based solutions, will double by 2027. Through the National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy, it has been determined that more focus is needed on incentivizing property owners to ‘build back better’ after floods overwhelm. It also includes a number of actions to partner with the insurance sector, specialist agencies and providers to integrate flood resilience into properties.

Environment Agency chief executive Philip Duffy said:

The increasing scale of climate change poses a major challenge to our environment, society and economy. The Environment Agency’s work on flood risk reduction, water and nature management plays an important role in our national climate resilience. We look forward to working with the Government and our partners to implement the new National Adaptation Program.

To ensure a more sustainable natural environment, Local Natural Restoration Strategies and Environmental Land Management programs will assist farmers and land managers to prioritize adaptation and help ensure Food supply chains respond to climate and other emerging risks, while defending their role as food producers.

The Climate Change Act 2008 (CCA) requires the government to complete a Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) every five years, followed by a NAP that outlines how the government will address the identified risks. in CCRA. The government is currently in the third statutory cycle of country risk assessment and adaptation planning under CCA 2008.

Government Science Advisor Professor Dame Angela McLean said:

The climate has changed so adaptation is very important. As we continue to work towards net zero, we must also implement plans to ensure our society is resilient to current and future climate changes.

Professor Stephen Belcher, Met Office Chief Scientist, said:

The publication of the latest National Adaptation Program is an important reminder that the effects of climate change are increasingly becoming a feature of our lives.

Even with efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, Met Office science tells us that wildfires, heavy rains, rising sea levels, drought and extreme heat will have dire consequences. more in the coming years. NAP establishes a road map to a most resilient future. We need to follow that journey.

NAP3 provides a comprehensive and forward-looking plan for the UK to adapt to the risks and opportunities of climate change. Including:

the infrastructure

  • The government’s new Resilience Framework sets out for the first time a strategic, society-wide approach to resilience, including new commitments on resilience standards
  • Defra will drive accelerated investment of £2.2 billion in water quality and resilient supplies through its Water Plan, helping to protect our water supply from the risks of climate change. caused by climate change.

Natural environment

  • Local Natural Restoration Strategies (LNRS) will take into account climate trends and hazards affecting local areas
  • The Environmental Land Management (ELM) program will incorporate climate change adaptation into its design to promote sustainable and sustainable farming and land management practices.
  • Six Nature Restoration Projects (NRPs) will be launched by 2023 and we will work with the distribution partners of the Nature Restoration Network (NRN) to identify and implement another 13 projects.

Health, community and built environment

  • Protecting communities and businesses across the UK through a £5.2 billion investment in plans to combat flooding and coastal erosion
  • Implement the UK Health Security Authority’s (UKHSA) Adverse Weather & Health Plan with UKHSA/Met Office weather health warning systems to protect lives and well-being
  • The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) will be updated to support both adaptation and mitigation efforts, in addition to recent updates to the Building Regulations to reduce excess heat and solar energy. Unwanted weather in all new residential buildings
  • Provide a dedicated local climate forecasting service to each higher-level local government to support local adaptation planning for hazards such as short-term, localized heatwaves and heavy rainfall.

Business and industry

  • The Green Finance Strategy 2023 outlines a series of actions to be taken to protect the financial system from the impacts of climate change and to attract private investment in adaptation.
  • Through the Green Jobs Task Force, the government will identify the skills needed for the UK to move to net zero while strengthening its resilience to climate change.
  • Surveys business readiness for climate impacts, and provides information and support for businesses to adapt to higher temperatures, water scarcity, storms and floods.

international impact

  • The International Climate Finance (ICF) Strategy outlines how governments will help adapt and build resilience of vulnerable communities to climate-related disasters, including through triple adaptation funds through official development assistance to £1.5 billion by 2025
  • The UK will continue to push for consensus negotiations and international action on climate adaptation, including the main focus at COP28 in the UAE later this year.

Adaptive Reporting (ARP)

  • Reporting will take place over a shorter period of time to align reports with other parts of the government regulatory cycle.
  • Expanded targeted coverage, including additional reporting on canals and reservoirs, health and social care, and food delivery

Supporting evidence

  • World-leading science and evidence support, such as UK Climate Forecasts, support our adaptation work
  • The upcoming £15m jointly funded Research and Innovation (UKRI)/Defra scheme will support the research and innovation needed to bring about adaptive action
  • Research and innovation needed for adaptive action

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