Environment Agency to help businesses and communities adapt to future climate change
- Published on Tuesday, 06 September 2011 13:59
- Posted by Scott Buckler
Emergency services, farmers, businesses and planners are among those who are being invited to have their say on new ways to help the country further adapt to climate change
Experts working in key sectors were urged to submit their views and help shape the future of the new Adapting to Climate Change Programme to be run by the Environment Agency at a launch event in London today.
From October 1, the Environment Agency takes on an additional role as the Government’s delivery body in England to help business, industry, local government and the wider public sector adapt to climate change. The role includes overseeing the programme to improve the nation’s resilience to climate change.
Environment Minister Lord Henley and Environment Agency Chairman Chris Smith both attended this morning’s event.
Speaking at the launch Lord Smith said: “We are already starting to see changes to the natural environment as a result of the changing climate. In the UK we face more extreme weather such as flooding, drought and heat waves.
“There is much we can do to build resilience to these increasing threats, but we need to start now. Through this new role we will be working with others to help the country prepare for the challenges that climate change will bring.”
Lord Henley said: “Climate change will have a significant impact on our economy in the future, bringing both risks and new opportunities for growth. We now need to step up our preparations if we are to take advantage of the benefits and minimise the risks that a changing climate will bring.
“Businesses will now be able to tap into a wealth of knowledge and expertise from the Environment Agency about what climate change could mean for them, and will give them a great advantage in meeting the challenges ahead.”
The aim of the adaptation programme is to ensure that vital sectors, such as hospitals, travel planners and critical infrastructure providers, are incorporating climate risk management into their decision making.
- The programme will consist of two parts. A web-based information service will give organisations access to the latest climate science and provide planning advice and guidance.
- In addition, a tailored ‘support service’ will provide specific advice to those crucial sectors specialising in the built environment, infrastructure, business and economy, health and wellbeing, natural environment and local government.
The Environment Agency-led programme replaces and builds on the Defra-funded UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP), based at Oxford University. To ensure a smooth transition, UKCIP is working as a delivery partner on the programme providing support and guidance on adaptation until March 2012, when the handover is set to be complete.
Source: Environment Agency