While the outcome of the election was perhaps clearer than many expected, the picture for adaptation is, at best, opaque. Climate change barely figured in the election campaign, and the Conservative manifesto makes no direct mention of adaptation in the UK.
However, the Conservative manifesto outlines programmes that will demand effective adaptation planning, for example, investment in transport and communications infrastructure. There’s also a commitment to further spending on flood defences.
But there are plenty of other decisions that will demonstrate the new government’s commitment to and understanding of adaptation: will the government’s Climate Ready adaptation support programme for England be extended? How will the UK government work with the devolved administrations to deliver adaptation across the UK? The Climate Change Act 2008 is safe with the new administration, but looking ahead to further spending cuts, will the Act’s adaptation objectives continue to be adequately funded?
There’s plenty still to do before the UK can be said to be “adapting well” to climate change. UKCIP is looking forward to working with others to move significantly closer to that goal in the next five years.