Resilience to climate change

The Adaptation Committee of the Committee on Climate Change has two statutory roles – to give advice to Government on climate risks and opportunities for the UK, and to evaluate the Government’s National Adaptation Programme.

Advice on climate risks and opportunities

  • The Adaptation Committee leads the development of the independent Evidence Report for the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment. The Committee is currently preparing the Evidence Report for the third CCRA, a task involving around 300 experts from over 80 organisations.
  • The Government’s endorsed the findings of the Committee’s last independent report published in 2016. The CCRA formed the basis of the most recent National Adaptation Programme, as well as the adaptation programmes of the devolved administrations.
  • Other countries (e.g. New Zealand, Korea) as well as UK regions (e.g. Glasgow City Region, Kent) have used all or parts of the CCC’s novel methodological framework for the CCRA in their own risk assessments.

Progress in preparing for climate change in England

  • The Committee reports every two years on progress in preparing for climate change in England. The UK Government accepted the findings of the CCC’s last two adaptation reports in 2015 and 2017, and will prepare a formal response to our latest report later in 2019.
  • Many of our previous recommendations for improving adaptation planning and implementation in England have been subsequently taken up by Government and its arm’s length bodies. Examples include:
    • Developing a long-term, outcomes-based strategy for flood risk and water resources management in England, with built-in flexibility to respond as the climate changes.
    • Increasing investment for flood defences.
    • Including future climate change in the designation of water stressed areas.
    • Reviewing current policy on sustainable drainage systems (SuDS), including placing higher priority on ‘green’ SuDS that have multiple co-benefits (swales, ponds, green spaces) over ‘grey’ SuDS (underground tanks).
    • Reviewing policies related to overheating in buildings, including the Building Regulations and National Planning Policy Framework.