4. Challenges and looking ahead
Finding ways to assess adaptation progress remains challenging. Our monitoring framework is an evolution in the CCC’s approach to articulate a more specific vision of the outcomes we are aiming to track progress against. We will continue to iterate and improve this over time.
Priorities for further development are:
- Interdependencies. Breaking the UK into discrete thematic adaptation areas by sector allows being well-adapted to climate change to be more meaningfully defined and measured. However, it remains a challenge to recognise the interconnections between thematic areas, and the potential for cascading climate risks, within the monitoring framework. Adaptation delivery is also intertwined with other societal goals, for example Net Zero and nature recovery, and ‘good’ adaptation will require consideration of these.
- Quantification of outcomes. Most identified outcomes in our framework have only limited quantitative elements to them (such as target levels for individual metrics and by when that level should be achieved). More quantitative outcomes can help improve the transparency of progress monitoring. We will seek to further quantify time-bound adaptation outcomes within our framework as the evidence base develops. Where quantitative outcomes are included within the framework currently, we generally align them to existing Government commitments and set timeframes.
- Data. Across adaptation thematic areas there are important data gaps to adequately measure progress on delivery and implementation across the relevant outcomes. Improvements are needed on indicator availability, quality, accessibility, coverage, and ownership. A priority for future adaptation programmes should be to develop and close these gaps. The monitoring maps provide a starting point list of indicators which could help improve our ability to measures aspects of progress.
- Local needs. Adaptation needs are location and context specific, both in terms of the varying relevant climate change risks, but also in terms of varying vulnerability. We utilise local case-studies of different impacts and responses in our assessments where appropriate, but further development of quantitative and spatial evidence on climate risk and adaptation implementation could strengthen the ability of the monitoring framework to serve the needs of local adaptation implementation.
The CCC will provide independent advice to government as part of the UK’s fourth Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA4) in summer 2026. Over the next three years, the CCC will seek to work with a range of experts and stakeholders to make progress against the priority areas identified above for improving our monitoring framework, as well as continued development to and to help our progress monitoring framework align with that used for the CCRA.
 We currently covered overall preparation for interdependency risks outside of the framework and all infrastructure monitoring maps include a required outcome on ‘Interdependencies identified and managed’.