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Climate change challenges

The climate change challenges facing the UK are outlined in the government’s latest Climate Change Risk Assessment, published in January 2017 [1]. The changing climate is recognised as one of the most serious environmental challenges and the government is taking action to address this by improving flood defences and securing critical food and water supplies.

The report recognises how the trend towards warmer winters, hotter summers and changing rainfall patterns is affecting communities across the UK and sets out the government’s ongoing investment and work programme to tackle these risks.

Since the first National Adaptation Programme in July 2013, the UK has made progress in a number of areas, for example by:

• Placing a new resilience duty on Ofwat through the Water Act 2014 and publishing the Enabling Resilience in the Water Sector report to ensure the long-term resilience of water and sewerage services.

• Working closely with the food industry to ensure the security and resilience of food supply, using the latest technology delivered through the new Agri-Tech Innovation Centres.

• Constructing a UK Plant Health Risk Register to compare the risks posed by different plant pests and pathogens.

• Committing to develop a 25-year environment plan that takes climate change into account.

The Climate Change Risk Assessment will be followed by the National Adaptation Programme to be published in 2018.

Alongside the strategy to adapt to climate change risks, the government is also tackling the causes of climate change and trying to reduce the threat it poses to our national and economic security, for example by ratifying the Paris Agreement, the ambitious global deal to cut CO2 emissions to help accelerate global action on climate change.




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