Human contribution of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere continues to represent one of the greatest threats to the natural world and human populations globally. Related extreme weather occurrences including flooding and high temperatures, as well as consequent water scarcity, food insecurity and disease already cause mass disruptions to human life. Over the last two decades severe weather events have cost on average £1.5 billion per year (Committee on Climate Change, 2018).
Successive governments have developed a new policy and legislative framework to combat rising temperatures and mitigate the risks of increased climate variability. Earlier this year, the Government published its long-awaited 25 Year Environment Plan, with climate change abatement residing at the centre of its strategy. In July 2018, the second National Adaptation Programme (NAP) was released. This included new provisions to build resilience against flooding, drought and coastal erosion. The NAP has pledged to restore degraded eco-systems by creating 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat. The Government is also investing £2.6 billion between 2015 and 2021 to protect the country from coastal erosion and flooding.
Despite consistent government engagement, numerous challenges still obstruct a comprehensive UK strategy on climate change adaptation and mitigation. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has warned that only some of the urgent risks identified in its 2017 Climate Change Risk Assessment have been addressed. Moreover, the UK remains the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the EU after Germany, with latest statistics showing the UK was responsible for 11.6% of all EU emissions in 2016 (Eurostat, 2018). Planned enlargement of Heathrow airport has raised further doubts over the Government’s commitment to reduce total emissions by 80% before 2050. The Department for Transport announced the aviation emissions were forecasted to reach 42.8 million tonnes by 2030 following the expansion (DfT, 2017).
- Analyse the UK Government’s current approach to tackling climate change under the 25-Year Environment Plan 2018 and review progress toward 2050 targets
- Consider the major tenets of the second National Adaptation Programme (2018-2023) and central actions taken to mitigate the risks of climate change
- Explore to what extent the NAP reflects the insights and recommendations of the 2017 UK Climate Change Risk Assessment
- Measure and consolidate progress made by the NAP in delivering climate change adaptation and mitigation
- Discuss the role of private sector actors in contributing to national climate change abatement
- Explore emerging technologies in supporting UK climate change strategy at the national and local levels
- Identify opportunities and risks post Brexit in reducing emissions and protecting national and local eco-systems
- Discuss adaptive measures implemented by the devolved administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, and engage in the sharing of best practices
Professor William Pope- Chair, Society for the Environment and Environmental Policy Forum, CEnv, HonFSE
Kit Oung- Energy Board Member, Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE)
Angela Gorman- Senior Advisor: Climate and Energy Team, Environment Agency
Dr Michael Morecroft- Principal Specialist, Climate Change- Natural England
Dr Candice Howarth- Senior Lecturer in Sustainability and Climate Communication, University of Surrey
Jon Fletcher- Managing Director, Big Clean Switch
Phil Macdonald- Head of Communications, Sandbag
To find out more, and book your place, please visit the Public Policy Exchange website