What can be done to adapt

Priorities for early action on adaptation include taking measures that provide immediate benefits today and in a range of future possible climates, known as ‘low-regret’ actions. For example, installing water saving devices could cut water use by households by 20%, saving households with a water meter money on their bill. Decisions also need to be made on how to build adaptation into decisions with long lifetimes, such as the siting of key infrastructure or design of new habitats.

It is also important to ensure decisions with long-lasting consequences do not create obstacles for future adaptation, known as avoiding ‘lock-in’. As an example, siting new buildings and infrastructure in low flood risk areas where possible, will have a long term benefit. More details about adaptation priorities for England are available in the ASC’s 2017 Progress Report to Parliament. The ASC has also reviewed progress in adaptation in Scotland and Wales.