​Climate Change Adaptation in the UK

The UK’s Climate Change Act 2008 provides a legal framework to ensure that the Government meets its commitments to reducing emissions, assesses the UK’s risks from climate change, and prepares a strategy to address them.

The Climate Change Act

The UK’s Climate Change Act was passed in 2008 and established a framework to develop an economically credible emissions reduction path. It also:

  • introduced legally binding carbon budgets,
  • set up the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) as an independent body as well as the Adaptation Sub Committee (ASC) and,
  • requires a National Adaptation Plan to respond to the UK’s risks from climate change.

Climate Change Committee

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) was set up under the Climate Change Act to advise the Government on emissions targets, to report to Parliament on progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and provide advice to the Devolved Administrations on climate change.

Following the adoption of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act in August 2009, the Committee were asked to advise Scottish Minsters on issues relating to the climate change targets in the Act.

The Adaptation Committee of the Climate Change Committee

The Adaptation Committee has two key statutory roles – to give advice to Government on climate risks and opportunities for the UK, and to evaluate progress towards delivering the UK Government’s National Adaptation Programme (England only). The Committee can also be requested under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act to assess progress in adapting to climate change through Scotland’s Climate Change Adaptation Programme.

The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA)

Every five years the UK Government must carry out an assessment of the current and future risks to the country from climate change. This assessment is known as the Climate Change Risk Assessment or the CCRA, find out more on our CCRA webpage..

UK Climate Change Risk Assessment

​Climate Change Adaptation at the international level

At COP 21 in Paris, Parties to the UNFCCC reached a landmark agreement to combat…