New research to step up UK resilience to impacts of climate change

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New £5m research programme to step up the UK’s resilience to the impacts of climate change has been announced by the government.

The research programme, ‘Climate Services for a Net Zero Resilient World’, is set to help inform future climate policy and will be led by a consortium that includes University College London and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.

The research programme is set to ensure the UK is able to respond to the impacts a warming planet will have on national infrastructure, including heat waves causing record temperatures in buildings, extreme weather damage to power stations and electricity networks, and flooding impacting communities.

UK Climate & Energy Minister and International Adaptation and Resilience COP26 champion Anne-Marie Trevelyan commented on the announcement:  “Climate change poses a threat to both our way of life and the safety of our nation.

“The climate decisions taken by the government now, and over these crucial next few years, are vital to protect our homes, our well-being, and our future.

“This new programme brings together the brightest and best climate scientists, universities and research institutions from across the country to provide us with the latest tools, advice, and research to inform future climate policies at a national and local level.

“This research will be vital to ensure we’re making the best possible choices on our journey to net zero, making certain the UK is adaptable and more resilient to the effects of climate change.”

The four-year UK government research programme is set to improve the UK’s resilience to climate change by enhancing scientific understanding of climate impacts, decarbonisation and climate action.

It will provide advice, digital data, and technology such as data visualisation tools, providing critical evidence and expertise to inform the government’s action plan to reach net zero.

The programme will also engage with local authorities on local climate action plans, by equipping them with information on how to help households cope with extreme temperatures and helping them to identify low-cost, low-carbon measures.

To ensure that emissions are cut around the world, the scheme will also provide models for how the UK can reduce carbon emissions globally.

The Met Office’s State of the UK Climate report published last week showed that last year was the third warmest, fifth wettest and eighth sunniest on record.

The Climate Services for a Net Zero Resilient World consortium will include:

  • Ricardo
  • University College London (UCL)
  • Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
  • institutes supported by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), including:
    • British Antarctic Survey (BAS)
    • British Geological Survey (BGS)
    • National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS)
    • National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO)
    • National Oceanography Centre (NOC)
    • Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML)
    • UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH)