Government shows lack of urgency on climate crisis

Central Government, Climate Crisis, Reviews

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The UK is not ready for the unavoidable impacts of global warming, the government’s advisers on climate change say in a new report. The Climate Change Committee (CCC) which reviews the government’s adaptation plans on tackling and preparing for climate change said the government hasn’t achieved any of its targets and needed a policy “step change” to avoid loss of life.

The UK recently faced a series of extreme weather events, likely made worse by climate change. Last year was the warmest on record when temperatures broke 40C for the first time and more than 25,000 wildfires broke out.

Baroness Brown, chair of the CCC’s sub-committee on adaptation, said that the government wasn’t taking the issue seriously enough.

“The government’s lack of urgency on climate resilience is in sharp contrast to the recent experience of this country,” she said.

According to the report areas where needed action is missing include heat-proofing homes, stemming leaks from water supply pipes and preparing for flash floods and shortages of food and other imports from nations struck by climate impacts.

“The government is not putting together a plan that reflects the scale and the nature of the risks that face the whole country,” said Chris Stark, CCC chief executive. “This is completely critical. There is no option but to adapt to the change in the climate. The question is only whether we do that well by doing it early or wait until later.”

He said that acting early would be cheaper and better rather than acting in a “panicked way” later.

The BBC news web site reports a UK government spokesperson saying: “We have taken decisive action to improve the UK’s climate change resilience – including investing a record £5.2bn into flood defences.”

The spokesperson said the government would factor in the committee’s recommendations to the new National Adaptation Plan, which is expected to be published this summer.

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