LatestUK's plan for climate resilience "falls far short"

UK’s plan for climate resilience “falls far short”

UK’s emergency preparations for a warmer future “far short of what required”, said government advisors.

In addition to having experienced an exceptionally wet winter and the warmest February on record, Britain is now more vulnerable to extreme heatwaves, flooding, and coastline erosion due to global warming.

However, the Climate Change Committee’s harsh conclusions indicate that government adaptation initiatives “inadequately funded,” occasionally “poorly understood,” and lack a “credible vision.” 

According to the report, inflation has reduced the amount spent on flood defences, and the underfunding of electricity, water, and rail projects could leave vital infrastructure vulnerable to future climate extremes.

Additionally, it criticizes Britain’s resilience vision until 2028, which released last year, for lacking quantifiable objectives and results.

According to a government official, Britain has a “robust five-year plan” to protect food production, advance a greener economy, and improve infrastructure. 

Related: Labour Party aims for a waste-free economy by 2050

The UK’s attempts to reduce its carbon footprint and mitigate climate change are unrelated to the adaptation drive. To ensure that it can “keep the lights on” even as it uses more wind and solar electricity, it said on Wednesday that it would construct additional gas plants.

At the Cop28 negotiations in the United Arab Emirates, efforts to develop global adaptation targets picked up speed. These targets anticipated to centre on infrastructure, livelihoods, water, agriculture, health, biodiversity, and cultural heritage.

The UK was an “important player” in those negotiations, but the advisory group stated in a report released on Wednesday that the country’s domestic efforts are falling short of some of the global goals it supported. 

The chair of the committee’s adaptation arm, Julia King, stated, “The evidence of the damage from climate change has never been clearer, but the UK’s current approach to adaptation is not working.”

The peer, Baroness Brown, stated that “we cannot wait another five years for only incremental improvement” and that the battle strategy needs to revised right away.

Read also: Climate crisis is “causing animal extinctions”, new study warns

In certain readings, the global temperature threshold—which set at 1.5°C over the pre-industrial norm—already exceeded.

According to the committee’s findings, this indicates that by the 2020s, climate-related effects “of a severity and frequency beyond those already experienced” will felt in the UK.

It cautions that new net zero energy and water infrastructure could not able to “accommodate future climate extremes for these long-lived assets” if resilience not prioritized.

“The risk of locking in poorly adapted infrastructure increases if effective action not taken during the lifetime of this [adaptation plan].” 

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