Climate change: England not ready for impact
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said the government hasn’t achieved any of its targets and needed a policy “step change” to avoid loss of life.
The CCC reviews the government’s adaptation plans – preparations to cope with the effects of global warming.
The government said it would take the recommendations into account.
The committee, also known as the CCC, is an independent group of experts set up to provide the government with advice on the climate crisis.
Baroness Brown, chairwoman of the CCC’s sub-committee on adaptation, said that the government wasn’t taking the issue seriously enough.
“The government’s lack of urgency on climate resilience is in sharp contrast to the recent experience of this country,” she said.
Over the last couple of years, England has faced a series of extreme weather events, likely made worse by climate change.
Last year was the warmest on record for the UK – temperatures broke 40C for the first time and more than 25,000 wildfires broke out.
As well as extreme heat, rainfall has been consistently low for parts of south and southeast England, affecting crop yields.
Andrew Blenkiron’s 6,000-acre (24 sq km) farm in Thetford, Norfolk saw just 2.4mm of rain in February compared to the local average for that month of 43mm. He has now been forced to cut back on plans to plant potatoes, onions, parsnips and carrots by around a fifth.
He said: “Farmers are at the very forefront of climate change on a day-to-day basis… we are used to working with these issues, but we are concerned with the extremes we are now facing.”
To cope with the impacts of extreme heat Mr Blenkiron has enlarged reservoirs on his farm and shifted harvesting patterns to prevent wildfires.
But he said that farmers needed more money from government to implement their climate plans, especially if they involved new infrastructure projects like reservoirs.
Source : BBC