Progress in adapting to climate change – 2023 Report to Parliament

The CCC’s annual assessment of England’s progress in adapting to climate change.

29 March 2023

Type of publication:
Progress reports

Country focus:


This report provides the Committee’s biennial report of progress in preparing for climate change as required under the Climate Change Act. It provides an assessment of progress at the end of two National Adaptation Programmes, the statutory programme required from Government to help prepare the country for climate change. The second National Adaptation Programme covered the period of 2018 – 2023 and the third is due to be published in summer 2023.

3. Key messages

  • The second National Adaptation Programme has not adequately prepared the UK for climate change. Our assessment has found very limited evidence of the implementation of adaptation at the scale needed to fully prepare for climate risks facing the UK across cities, communities, infrastructure, economy and ecosystems.
  • The impacts from extreme weather in the UK over the last year highlight the urgency of adapting to climate change. The record-breaking temperatures seen in summer 2022 brought unprecedented numbers of heat-related deaths, wildfire incidents and significant infrastructure disruption.
  • The next National Adaptation Programme must make a step change. The next National Adaptation Programme (NAP3) must be much more ambitious than its predecessors and lead to a long overdue shift in focus towards the delivery of effective adaptation.
Overall summary

4. Recommendations to Government

Table 1
Recommendations - Progress in adapting to climate change – 2023 Report to Parliament
First publicationRecommendationTimingSector(s)Responsibility (primary)Responsibility (supporting)
UKAPR23Set interim adaptation targets to drive early action to improve climate resilience of nature, enable progress assessments, and secure adequate resources (including for green jobs and skills) to facilitate delivery of the targets.2023NatureDefra
UKAPR23The Land Use Framework should address the trade-offs and co-benefits of multifunctional landscapes to benefit climate mitigation, adaptation, food security, nature recovery, timber, recreation and rural livelihoods. 2023Working lands & seasDefra
UKAPR23Extend the scope of the fourth round of the Adaptation Reporting Power (ARP4) to include food supply chains.2023FoodDefra
UKAPR23Ensure sufficient investment, resources and progress monitoring to support delivery against demand reduction and leakage targets, given the significant gap between targets and progress. OngoingWater supplyDefraEnvironment Agency, Ofwat
Power supply reportDesignate Ofgem and parties responsible now and in the future (including the new Future System Operator) for the maintenance of energy sector codes and standards, with a clear mandate to ensure climate and weather resilience.2024EnergyDESNZOfgem, Future System Operator
UKAPR23Develop a set of indicators to enable monitoring of the impacts of weather and climate on telecoms and ICT services and the actions being taken to manage them, and designate Ofcom with a statutory remit for climate resilience.2025Telecoms & ICTDefraDCMS
ARP3 evaluationExtend the scope of the next round of the Adaptation Reporting Power (ARP4)to cover local authority functions related to road infrastructure, ports, airports, and key supply chain organisations.2023TransportDefra
UKAPR23Planning policy should be reformed to ensure that climate resilience is a priority, with mandatory adaptation interventions on all built-environment project applications.2024Towns and CitiesDLUHC
UKAPR23Expand the Part O Building Regulation requirement to cover refurbishments of existing buildings, conversions of non-domestic buildings to residential, and prisons.2023BuildingsDLUHC
UKAPR23Include community engagement activities (such as citizens assemblies) under NAP3 to put fairness at the centre of efforts to implement a vision for a well-adapted UK. This engagement programme should focus on exploring issues of fairness in some of the most challenging aspects of adaptation (e.g. coastal retreat) and in the provision of public funding for adaptation.2023CommunityDefra
UKAPR23Work across Government and with local authorities to develop a long-term cross-sector approach to address risks in the social care sector, including using appropriate levers to accelerate adaptation action, and ensuring that monitoring of overheating occurrences and air quality in care homes is undertaken frequently.2024HealthDHSCDLUHC
UKAPR23Strengthen adaptation reporting requirements across the Sustainability Disclosure regime and build on the work of the Transition Pathways Taskforce (on Net Zero-related corporate transition plans) to define common standards for what a high-quality adaptation transition plan should look like. This should include how relevant physical climate risks are measured and managed as well as how the plans would contribute to wider societal adaptation to climate change. 2023BusinessHMTDESNZ
Investment Report 23The refresh of the Green Finance Strategy in 2023, together with NAP3, should clarify where the Government expects adaptation actions to be funded through public sources and where private investment is expected. NAP3 should contain clear new funding commitments for investment in adaptation over the coming five year period and the breakdown across department budgets.2023FinanceHMTDefra
UKAPR23Set out, in NAP3, a national plan for managing interdependency risks, including clear and consistent responsibilities for climate resilience across sectors and mechanisms for cross-Government collaboration. 2023InterdependenciesDefra
UKAPR23The Retained EU Law Bill (REUL) should be strengthened by including an environmental non-regression safeguard. Implementation of the REUL programme should be supported by thorough and meaningful engagement and consultation with key stakeholders and technical experts across the UK.2023NatureCabinet OfficeDefra
UKAPR23The Environmental Improvement Plan goals should be mainstreamed across all Government departments responsible for their delivery, and trade-offs with competing policies should be mitigated.2024NatureDefra
UKAPR23Defra must clearly link the multiple benefits delivered through meeting the new Environment Act (2021) targets to the suite of climate, environment and planning policies that support them.2024NatureDefra
UKAPR23Defra should publish full details on how the Environmental Land Management scheme will support healthy ecosystems to build climate resilience, and the actions that reduce vulnerability to climate change that will be eligible for payments under the scheme.2023NatureDefra
UKAPR23DLUHC should add an expectation in the National Planning Policy Framework that Local Plans and Design Guides support delivery of Local Nature Recovery Strategies and Natural England's Green Infrastructure Standards. It should ensure that the Environmental Outcome Reports provide equivalent or stronger protection for biodiversity than the current system.2023NatureDLUHCDefra
UKAPR23Government should adopt the recommendations for revised technical standards for Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in England, to ensure that SuDS are multifunctional systems that support biodiversity, improve water quality and provide green space for people.2024NatureDLUHC
UKAPR23The statutory requirements of marine plan policies should be extended to the decisions of public and private organisations.2024NatureDefra
UKAPR23Government should invest in social and ecological research to understand how best to work with people to restore nature and build resilience to the impacts of climate change and other pressures. 2024NatureDefra
UKAPR23Defra should produce a strategy to ensure the agriculture sector remains productive under a changing climate, set targets for this and collect data to monitor success. 2024Working lands & seasDefra
UKAPR23The Home Office should create and implement a cross-departmental strategy with external stakeholders to identify and mitigate risks of wildfire.2023Working lands & seasHome Office
UKAPR23Government should work with the private sector to enable more funding for building climate resilience for WLS sectors, including (but not limited to) innovation, R&D, and jobs/skills. 2023Working lands & seasDefra
UKAPR23Government must strengthen policy and funding to restore coastal marine habitats by regulating bottom trawling, enforcing sustainable fishing quotas, and better protecting Marine Protected Areas to provide nursery areas to threatened commercial wild fish stocks. 2024Working lands & seasDefra
UKAPR23Defra should include a stretching and comprehensive soil health target as a priority in its forthcoming Soil Health Action Plan. 2023Working lands & seasDefra
UKAPR23Set out specifically how the Government's food strategy will be implemented with regard to making UK food supply chains more resilient to climate risks. This should include improving data on current disruptions and future risks.2024FoodDefra
UKAPR23Uphold minimum environmental and climate standards for trade, which support the resilience of the food system as well as other Government goals such as Net Zero (as outlined in the National Food Strategy Independent Review).OngoingFoodDBTDefra
UKAPR23Set out a clear Government vision on environmental and climate standards for trade in the upcoming 2030 Strategic Framework, setting out specific conditions that do more to ensure trade does not undermine our climate and environment objectives.2023FoodDESNZDefra
UKAPR23Launch a specific work programme to investigate how and where resilience standards might be developed and applied to food supply chains.2025FoodDBT
UKAPR23Ensure emerging regional Water Resource Management Plans demonstrate increased connectivity and supply capacity in the parts of England that are projected to be water stressed under climate change and population growth. 2023Water supplyEnvironment AgencyRegional Water Groups
UKAPR23Collate data from water companies on uptake of water efficiency measures as a national indicator.2025Water supplyOfwatDefra
UKAPR23Require water companies to report weather-related interruptions to supply to Ofwat, and collate this as a national indicator.2025Water supplyOfwatDefra
Power supply reportConduct a review of governance arrangements for resilience to climate hazards in the energy system, to ensure they are fit for the new expanded and more diverse low-carbon system given increasing societal reliance on electricity.2024EnergyDESNZOfgem
Power supply reportEnsure that future system design explicitly plans for the range of climate hazards that will face the energy system over its lifetime. OngoingEnergyFSODESNZ, Ofgem
Power supply reportDevelop a pathway to setting appropriate minimum resilience standards (both at asset and system level) to relevant climate hazards identified in the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA), covering all relevant parties.2028 latestEnergyCabinet OfficeDESNZ
Power supply reportExtend requirements for reporting on outages to include the cause, duration and customers affected for all outages, and collate this as a national indicator. 2024EnergyOfgemDESNZ
ARP3 evaluationMandate reporting on climate risk and adaptation plans by all generators, network operators and regulators under the Adaptation Reporting Power. 2023EnergyDefra
ARP3 evaluationCoordinate a systematic assessment of risks posed from cascading impacts across multiple sectors due to failures of the decarbonised energy system as part of the next round of the Adaptation Reporting Power.2025EnergyDefra
Power supply reportCommission further research to improve understanding of how climate change is altering key weather hazards that will impact the energy system.OngoingEnergyDESNZUKRI, Defra
UKAPR23Designate Ofcom with a statutory remit for climate resilience. 2024Telecoms & ICTDCMSOfcom
UKAPR23Specify outcomes and actions in NAP3 for Telecommunications & ICT resilience. 2023Telecoms & ICTDefra
UKAPR23Design a pathway to develop and implement minimum climate resilience standards for Telecommunications and ICT infrastructure. 2026Telecoms & ICTCabinet OfficeDCMS
ARP3 evaluationReview the approach of consolidated sectoral reports before the next ARP round to obtain more detailed information on the preparedness of the sector. 2023Telecoms & ICTDefra
UKAPR23Develop pathways to review and implement climate resilience standards to align with timing of regulatory cycles for transport.2030 latestTransportCabinet OfficeDfT
UKAPR23Ensure changes to transport systems, especially electrification of road and rail networks, to deliver Net Zero are resilient to climate impacts. OngoingTransportDfTORR
UKAPR23Establish and monitor a suite of transport adaptation indicators, in particular for local roads, airports and ports, and infrastructure for active modes such as walking and cycling. OngoingTransportDfTDefra
UKAPR23Designate transport sector regulators with consistent remits for climate resilience. OngoingTransportDfT
UKAPR23Planning policy should ensure that assessments for all type and size of built development include, at a minimum, an assessment of current and future flood, erosion, and heat risk under future climate scenarios. This requires tighter controls on Functional Floodplain and Coastal Change Management Area designation, as well as statutory consultees with appropriate skills to assess future climate risks.2025Towns and CitiesDLUHC
UKAPR23Government should set long-term targets for the number of people and buildings at high to very low risk for all sources of flooding (sea, river, surface water and groundwater).2025Towns and CitiesDefra
UKAPR23Government should guarantee funding for maintaining existing flood and coastal defences at a target standard suitable to future climate risk over the current FCERM policy cycle.2023Towns and CitiesDefra
UKAPR23Policy decisions within shoreline management plans should be statutory.2025Towns and CitiesDefra
UKAPR23Set out mechanisms for funding installation and maintenance of SuDS and green infrastructure.2023Towns and CitiesDefraDLUHC, Local Authorities
UKAPR23Urgently collect data on the location, type and standard of SuDS and green infrastructure interventions.2023Towns and CitiesDefra, DLUHCLocal Authorities
UKAPR21Introduce an urban greenspace target to reverse the decline and ensure towns and cities are adapted to more frequent heatwaves.2022Towns and CitiesDLUHC
UKAPR23Provide a mechanism for setting out place-based targets for urban greenspace and unplanned impermeable urban surfaces in towns and cities.2024Towns and CitiesDLUHC, DefraLocal Authorities, Natural England
UKAPR23Undertake post occupancy evaluations of new build homes to monitor summer temperatures to ensure homes meet Part O when built.From 2024BuildingsDLUHC
UKAPR23Increase understanding of overheating risk in existing buildings by making use of annual empirical studies of overheating. For example, the Energy Follow Up Survey would be a useful tool to track overheating in homes if it were to be conducted each year. The Government should also assess other innovative ways to monitor temperatures in buildings, for example by using smart data.OngoingBuildingsDESNZDfE, MoJ
UKAPR23Through the cross-government working group on overheating ensure the Government is actively addressing the need to mitigate overheating risks when installing measures to increase the energy efficiency of buildings.2023BuildingsDESNZDefra, Cabinet Office, DCMS, DfE, DLUHC, DfT, DHSC, DBT, MoJ, UK HSA
UKAPR23Track the resilience of the building stock through mandatory resilience reporting or Green Building Passports.2023BuildingsDLUHC
UKAPR22Work with the Environment Agency and other risk management authorities, such as water and sewerage companies, to set clear targets for the uptake of property-level flood resilience and set out standards for quality and maintenance. This should include improved data collection and monitoring.2023BuildingsDefraEnvironment Agency, Ofwat
UKAPR23Create a framework for data collection and monitoring property flood resilience installations2023BuildingsDefraEnvironment Agency, Ofwat
UKAPR23Make finance available to install proactive adaptation measures for overheating and flood resilience. This should be via grant schemes or green finance for private owners, with public funding targeted at low-income or vulnerable households, alongside energy efficiency retrofit. 2023BuildingsDESNZ, DLUHC, Defra
UKAPR23Build on NHS Green Plans to ensure long-term adaptation planning is included. Ensure that NHS Trusts and Integrated Care Systems have the support and guidance needed to do this.  2024HealthNHS
UKAPR23Make available long-term, protected funding to adapt hospitals, care homes and other healthcare buildings to the impacts of climate change. 2023HealthDHSC
UKAPR23The CQC must include the readiness of health and care providers to manage overheating and other extreme weather within the new Single Assessment Framework inspections. 2023HealthCQC
UKAPR23Make the National Resilience Standards a statutory requirement.2024CommunityDLUHC
UKAPR23Ensure the new reporting duty under the resilience framework from 2025 includes resilience to all climate risks, not just flooding, which may impact local communities.2025CommunityDLUHC
UKAPR23Extend the scope of the fourth round of the Adaptation Reporting Power (ARP4) to include local authorities.2023CommunityDefra
UKAPR23Undertake an assessment of the characteristics of vulnerability and adaptive capacity across England.2025CommunityDefra
Res. Sup. Chain Rep 22Ensure that the Sustainability Disclosure Requirements and supporting policies result in large businesses disclosing their current and future supply chain risks from extreme weather and climate change. This should include reporting the financial impacts of supply chain disruption and considering multiple climate change scenarios.2023BusinessHMT, DESNZ
UKAPR23Provide financial support for smaller businesses to recover and adapt  after extreme weather events (similar to existing grants which are usually offered after flooding or as Flood Re does for homeowners).2024BusinessHMT
Res. Sup. Chain Rep 22Increase capacity building through its overseas programmes to improve global capacity for climate resilience, including supply chains, health systems and early warning systems for climate hazards. Overseas programmes should work to reduce underlying vulnerabilities to climate risks and not just respond to disasters 2024BusinessFCDO
Res. Sup. Chain Rep 22Carry out stress testing exercises to understand the resilience of essential goods supply chains. This should include assessing the effectiveness of solutions like parallel supply chains or diversifying supplier locations based on assessments of climate risk. 2024BusinessDBT
UKAPR23Increase resources for adaptation as part of the existing SME Climate Hub.2023BusinessDESNZ
Res. Sup. Chain Rep 22Ensure that resilience to extreme weather and climate change is part of industrial and security strategies such as the British Energy Security and Critical Minerals strategies.  2023BusinessDBT
Res. Sup. Chain Rep 22Publish more accessible monitoring and data analysis of climate risks in order to support businesses to improve their resilience.2023BusinessDESNZ
Res. Sup. Chain Rep 22Carry out a review of the impacts of recent supply chain disruption and how businesses and governments responded. Use the findings as part of building a strong resilience capability for the UK by taking an overarching view of systemic and interacting risks. 2023BusinessCabinet Office
Res. Sup. Chain Rep 22Review the value of an early warning system for global climate shocks and enhancing the ability of the Government to make fast decisions by bringing in technical advice and expertise when needed.2023BusinessCabinet Office
ARP3 evaluationExtend the scope of ARP4 to include food supply chains. Defra should also ensure that all organisations who meet the criteria for participation are being invited to report.2024BusinessDefra
Investment Report 23The Office for Budget Responsibility should undertake a full review of how the impacts of climate change in the UK will affect the UK’s macroeconomic performance and public finances, building on the analysis in their 2021 Fiscal Risks Report, to enable a full-cost benefit analysis for public investment in adaptation. 2023FinanceOBR
Investment Report 23UK public financial institutions (such as the UK Infrastructure Bank, British Business Bank, UK Export Finance, and British International Investment) – should create adaptation finance strategies, setting out how they will independently and collectively ensure that no viable UK climate adaptation project fails for lack of finance or insurance. 2023FinancePublic Finance Institutions
Investment Report 23UK public financial institutions should launch new sustainability-linked instruments tied to adaptation outcomes to help prime the market, potentially by offering guarantees to private issuers and lenders for adaptation-linked instruments. 2024FinancePublic Finance Institutions
Investment Report 23The Bank of England should examine how capital requirements for banks and insurers should be adjusted based on assessed climate risks in terms of how assets are impacted by climate risk, how existing and planned adaptation will influence this, and how some assets create climate risk and contribute to greater societal risk and fragility.2023FinanceHMT, Bank of England
Investment Report 23Financial regulators should provide directional guidance for financial institutions to measure physical climate risk and their contribution to climate adaptation (and maladaptation) outcomes across portfolios and loan books. This should be integrated into required climate-related disclosures as part of SDR, as well as enforced through microprudential supervision. 2024FinanceHMT, Financial Regulators
Investment Report 23The UK should build on the work of the Transition Pathways Taskforce (on Net Zero-related corporate transition plans) to define common standards for what a high-quality adaptation transition plan should look like. This should include how relevant physical climate risks are measured and managed as well as how the plans would contribute to wider societal adaptation to climate change. 2023FinanceHMT, DESNZ
Investment Report 23The updated Green Finance Strategy in 2023 and NAP3 should set out steps to ensure that the UK SDR initiatives (including the Green Taxonomy) are effective in improving our understanding of adaptation investment needs, directing finance towards adaptation and ensuring that regulators and auditors have the necessary expertise to monitor the quality of reporting, and provide incentives for organisations to report on their adaptation actions. 2023FinanceHMT, Defra, DESNZ
Investment Report 23Government and its implementing agencies should ensure that a growing fraction of their funding helps to support pioneering projects that seek to provide proof of concepts of how adaptation actions can be successfully funded and delivered through public-private partnership funding and financing. OngoingFinanceHMT, Public Finance Institutions
Investment Report 23Government can enable the provision of data as a public good. This could include directly investing in open risk and resilience data and metrics or developing platforms and tools to share relevant datasets, such as those collected by insurance companies. 2023FinanceDESNZ, ONS
Investment Report 23The interdependencies between physical, transition and liability risks must be considered for scenario analysis and stress testing. Stress testing of the financial system to climate change risks should be done regularly as data and methodological approaches improve our understanding of the risks and impacts. 2023FinanceBank of England
Investment Report 23Government should prioritise creating markets for adaptation outcomes across relevant legislation and policy programmes, including initiatives on carbon market integrity and the Environmental Land Management Schemes.2023FinanceDefra, HMT, DESNZ
Investment Report 23The need for investment in adapting to climate change should be included within mandates/strategic priorities for all relevant regulated industry regulators and implementing agencies through resilience standards aligned to national-level objectives. There should be a duty for regulators to identify and create climate adaptation project pipelines, aligned with national adaptation objectives, and to set out how they will enable the realisation of that pipeline.2028 at latestFinanceCabinet Office
Investment Report 23Financial regulators in the UK should collaborate with international counterparts to establish a cost of capital observatory for physical risk, similar to efforts to track this for transition risk (for example by the International Energy Agency). 2023FinanceFinancial Regulators


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