The UK is not spending enough to combat climate change or its impacts.
That’s according to the Climate Change Committee (CCC), which claims that £10 billion each year is needed to overcome the upsurge in heatwaves, droughts and flooding experienced in the country during the last few years.
Aside from improving the response to events such as flooding, with better defences – the watchdog has also called for more to be done to stop the problem at source; insulation of homes for example.
Global warming is already underway and can no longer be ignored, the CCC stresses.
Improving drainage to cope with urban flooding from heavy rainfall, accessibility to public water supplies to combat drought and utilising nature-based solutions are some of the options suggested in the report.
The CCC explains that this would not only protect the UK against the impacts of climate change but also save money in the long run – with infrastructure in place to deal with issues, rather than stretching emergency services.
Baroness Brown, Chair of the CCC’s Adaptation Committee, said: “It is no secret that the UK is now experiencing a range of damaging consequences of climate change but adaptation in the UK remains chronically underfunded and overlooked. This must change.”
“Integrating climate risk into economic and financial decision-making across society is essential for urgently needed investments in our national climate resilience to materialise,” added Ben Caldecott, one of the authors of the report.
A UK government spokesperson said: “We are taking clear and decisive action on climate adaptation including a record £5.2 billion investment in flood defences along with changing building regulations to make sure new homes are resilient to a changing climate.
“Our Environmental Improvement Plan published this week sets out a range of measures including plans to create and restore at least 500,000 hectares of wildlife habitats as well as deliver a clean and plentiful water supply into the future by tackling leaks and boosting household water efficiency.”