Climate Risk, Resilience and Adaptation - what does the government need to do to prepare for climate change?

Yesterday the All-Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group (APPCCG) hosted a panel discussion covering key questions:

  • What are the main climate risks the UK faces?
  • How well is the UK Government currently doing at preparing for climate impacts and building resilience?
  • What are the next steps for the Government to make progress on adaptation, in preparation for the Third Climate Change Risk Assessment (2022) and the next National Adaptation Plan (2023)?

The event was Chaired by Wera Hobhouse MP, Vice Chair of the APPCCG and Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for the Climate Emergency and Energy, who gave the opening remarks and set the agenda for the session.


Professor Richard Betts MBE, Chair in Climate Impacts, University of Exeter and Head of Climate Impacts, Met Office

  • discussed the main risks facing the UK as a result of the impacts of climate change and discussed the latest understanding of current and future climate change in the UK from the Technical Report for the CCRA3 Independent Assessment.

Richard Millar, Head of Adaptation, Climate Change Committee

  • presented the Climate Change Committee's progress report and recommendations for the Government to improve resilience and what the next steps are for the govt in preparation for the Third Climate Change Risk Assessment and the next National Adaptation Plan.

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency

  • Adapt or die. Emma discussed the Environment Agency's third adaptation report, the case for urgent action on adaption in the UK and globally, ahead of COP26, commenting on differences and similarities between flood resilience in the UK and Germany

Olly Watts, Senior Climate Change Policy Officer, RSPB 

  • “We need to learn about a 2°C world and adapt to a 2°C world”. Olly discussed risks and vulnerabilities to nature and some wider environmental aspects and the role of nature-based solutions in helping people and infrastructure to adapt to climate change

Following on from the presentations, Chair Wera Hobhouse MP opened the floor for questions and a general discussion which brought up questions on:

  1. How to increase public understanding for adaptation measures being both a personal as well as a governmental responsibility?
  2. What are your first reactions and thoughts on the government's new Net Zero Strategy?

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Policy Connect has recently added adaptation as a new sector to the Climate Policy Dashboard highlighting the equal importance of adaptation and mitigation in reaching net zero.

The overall average progress score of the adaptation priority areas is currently ranked 4/10 which is insufficient/on the way to world leading adaptation policy.

You can access the Climate Policy Dashboard and Adaptation Sector via this link