Assistant Editor, SHP & IFSEC Global

January 20, 2022

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources


Government admits to inadequate efforts in combating climate change in the UK

The government has admitted that its efforts to protect the UK from the effects of climate change have been insufficient.

In the UK’s Third Climate Change Risk Assessment, ministers recognise that they need to increase efforts significantly in order to curb the worst impacts of the climate crisis.

The government has also accepted that it must consider low-probability, high-impact events arising from a heating climate.

The report, published in response to an analysis of the UK’s vulnerability to climate change by the Climate Change Committee, warns of worsening health and productivity for many households, businesses and public services if further action is not taken.

For example, the report states that, unless efforts are increased, the cost of flooding related damages for non-residential properties is expected to increase by 27% by 2050 and 40% by 2080.

That would co-inside with a temperature risk of just 2C-. If temperature rises to 4C- which the government’s science advisers claim is possible, this increases to 44% and 75% respectively.

In November 2021, SHP reported on the decisions made at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), the main goals being drafted in order to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

On the final day of the summit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement in which he said: “There’s still a long journey ahead of us and very little time to complete it. But COP26 has shown us that we can do this. We can end our reliance on coal and fossil fuels. We can put the brakes on runway climate change. And we can preserve out planet for years to come.”

The government argues that it is already investing to adapt to climate change, the recently released report mentions:

  • A £5.2bn investment for 2000 new flood defences by 2027
  • Increasing money for peat restoration, woodland creation and management to more than £750m by 2025
  • Continuing work on the Green Finance Strategy to help money reach “green” projects.

Greg Hands, Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, says: “This report makes clear the risks of failing to act on climate change, and the UK’s world leading approach to net zero must include action on adaptation to ensure we are resilient to climate change in the future.

“This includes building on our strong progress to deliver a reliable, home grown renewable energy sector, provide highly skilled jobs, and secure investment as we build a cleaner future.”

Housing Minister, Eddie Hughes, Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities comments: “Reducing carbon emissions from homes is an essential part of our climate change response and we are making great progress.

“From June this year new homes will be expected to produce around 30% less CO2 emissions rising to 75% from 2025.”

Critics argue that the governments efforts so far have been diluted by inadequate finance from the Treasury for long-term schemes.

Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, says: “It’s crystal clear that we are moving nothing like fast enough to net zero emissions and the longer we delay, the more it will cost. The government acknowledges the risks. We have yet to see the action plan that will deal with them.”

Climate Adaptation Minister, Jo Churchill, concludes: “The scale and severity of the challenge posed by climate change means we can’t tackle it overnight, and although we’ve made good progress in recent years, there is clearly much more that we need to do.”

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


Related Topics

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments