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Government efforts to adapt Britain to climate risks are ‘falling far short’

EFFORTS to make Britain resilient to the impacts of climate change are falling far short of what is needed, the climate change committee warned yesterday.

The non-departmental body, set up to advise the British and devolved governments on climate change, says that the country must adapt to cope with everything from floods to drought. 

Increased public funding should be a cornerstone of an effective response to the risks Britain is facing, it said.

Under the Climate Change Act 2008, the government has to produce a national adaptation plan every five years and the committee has published its response.

The latest plan vowed to help protect people, homes and businesses from heatwaves, droughts, floods and other damaging impacts of global warming.

But the committee warned that “compilations of existing policy and initiatives are insufficient” and more ambitious commitments were needed.

Baroness Brown, chairwoman of the adaptation subcommittee, said: “The evidence of the damage from climate change has never been clearer, but the UK’s current approach to adaptations is not working.

“Defra [the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs ] needs to deliver an immediate strengthening of the government’s programme, with an overhaul of its integration with other government priorities such as net zero and nature restoration.

“We cannot wait another five years for only incremental improvement.”

Greenpeace UK climate campaigner Georgia Whitaker said: “This lack of preparation from the government is completely unforgivable.

“Over the last year we’ve seen extreme heat and flooding devastating homes and communities across the country. 

“Despite this, the government has chosen to fan the flames of the climate crisis by rolling back climate policies that would help tackle the emissions that have taken us here.”

The department was contacted for comment.

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