The case for early adaptation to climate change
The recent Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk report published by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) is only the third of its kind. Required to be published every five years under the 2008 Climate Change Act, it reflects on how far the UK has come in the last 5 years, the current status on which risks require the most urgent action now, and finally looks ahead to 2050 and beyond from both a mitigation and adaptation perspective.
The report makes for sobering reading: the UK is less prepared for climate change now than it was five years ago; the pace of change in risk has far outstripped the pace of adaptation.
As an industry we often talk about the crucial need for urgent action to combat climate change but increasingly there is a need to focus on the latter part of Goal 13 of the Sustainable Development Goals: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Mitigation alone cannot prevent all climate change impacts because climate change is already happening. Human-induced global warming has now reached 1.2°C above preindustrial levels and is increasing at around 0.25°C per decade.