UK must adapt to climate change now | Letters

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Alastair Chisholm urges the UK government to strengthen its national adaptation policy; Robert McCartney writes that China produces twice the CO2 as the US

Your editorial warning that extreme events are likely to become a new and dangerous normal (The heatwave in Britain is part of a large and dangerous pattern, 10 July) highlights that what the UK can most effectively do in response is to plan to adapt. While decarbonisation across our economy and society is vital and the UK must improve its commitments on a range of fronts, we are also a highly populated island exposed to diverse and complex weather and climate risks from storms and floods to heatwaves and drought.

Tuesday’s report by the National Infrastructure Commission makes the economic case for early, planned adaptation clear: it is way cheaper than responding to emergencies. This summer the government publishes its latest national adaptation programme. The first programme was spread too thinly and progress against it was hard to quantify. The latest version must establish an ambitious, targeted and measurable plan of action which ensures society is resilient to the worst the weather can throw at us in coming decades.
Alastair Chisholm
Director of policy, Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management

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