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Adapting to climate change

Adapting to climate change will require collaboration across society, with local authorities, private and public sectors, infrastructure providers and communities all playing a part.

Our COP26 posts to date have concentrated on the key areas of mitigation related to Climate Change. Mitigation refers to the measures which can be taken to avoid and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the planet from warming to more extreme temperatures, and, can include issues like energy conservation and efficiency, waste management, transport and nature. 

Of equal importance is Climate Change Adaptation, which refers to changing behaviours, systems, and ways of life to protect ourselves from the impacts of climate change. Today (Sunday) COP26 looks at adaptation. 

Flood sign
The Climate Change Act sets the policy framework for adaptation in the UK and consists of: 

  • The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment, which outlines key areas of risk such as flooding, higher temperatures, water deficit, risk to natural capital and new and emerging pests and disease. 

  • The National Adaptation Programme, which sets the strategy to address the main risks and opportunities identified 

  • The UK Adaptation Reporting Power, which allows the Secretary of State to require public service organisations to produce reports on what they are doing to adapt to climate change  

The most recent Climate Change Risk Assessment sets out the highest priorities for further adaptation in the next two years as follows: 

Chart showing highest priorities for adaptation in the next two years
Adapting to climate change will require collaboration across society, with local authorities, private and public sectors, infrastructure providers and communities all playing a part. Communication of the risks, the impacts and the actions to take is an important part of this. 

report earlier this year by The London School of Economics, suggests that adaptation measures can range from increasing access to education and health facilities, to making large-scale infrastructure changes, and to supporting behavioural shifts such as individuals using less water, farmers planting crops that are better suited to the changing climate, and more households and businesses buying flood insurance. 

Through our forthcoming Climate Change Strategy we will further investigate the Climate Change Adaptation which can be best facilitated at a local level. By doing so, we hope to support a Borough that benefits from an increasing resilience to climate change and, in particular the weather changes associated with it. 

As always, in the meantime, if you do have thoughts as to local adaptation, then please do get in touch

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