Climate Change Committee Adaptation Progress Report: UK ‘strikingly unprepared’ for crisis

A new report from one of Britain’s leading environmental think tanks points to a worrying lack of readiness for the challenges ahead.

The Adaptation Progress Report was published by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) on Wednesday 29th March 2023. It lays bare the extent to which Westminster has so far failed to act on environmental warnings and introduce new policies to help the country adapt to a planet undergoing significant changes to weather systems and more. 

green grass field during daytime

Citing summer 2022’s extreme heatwave, which saw thousands of excess deaths across the UK and Europe, major travel disruption, and significant impact on infrastructure and the economy, this new assessment suggests that limited improvements to sectoral planning for key climate risks is far outweighed by a lack of fully credible solutions.

Defined as instances where almost all required policy milestones are in place, fully credible solutions were only present for four-to-five of the 45 adaptation outcomes identified by Government. Meanwhile, none of these contained sufficient evidence that exposure to climate and vulnerability are being reduced at a fast enough rate to manage risk appropriately. 

Simply put, the National Adaptation Programme (NAP) – which should respond to the scale of the challenge – falls well short. According to the CCC, it lacks a clear vision for the future, is not underpinned by tangible targets, and is not driving policy changes or steps towards implementation. If this does not improve then wider measures, including the net zero journey and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems, will also fail.

Ahead of a third iteration in the government’s adaptation plan and assessment, set to be unveiled this summer, Downing Street is now being urged to consider the findings of this latest report and act now or risk committing Defra to  five years of lacklustre planning and preparation until the next NAP is produced. 

‘The Government’s lack of urgency on climate resilience is in sharp contrast to the recent experience of people in this country. People, nature and infrastructure face damaging impacts as climate change takes hold. These impacts will only intensify in the coming decades,’ said Baroness Brown, chair of the Adaptation Committee.

This has been a lost decade in preparing for and adapting to the known risks that we face from climate change. Each month that passes without action locks in more damaging impacts and threatens the delivery of other key Government objectives, including Net Zero. We have laid out a clear path for Government to improve the country’s climate resilience. They must step up,’ she continued. 

Image: Ella Baxter


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top