Helping communities adapt and prepare for climate change.

The Climate Change Committees Progress in adapting to climate change – 2023 Report to Parliament provided an assessment of progress at the end of two National Adaptation Programmes.

The report found very limited evidence of the implementation of adaptation at the scale needed to fully prepare the climate risks facing the UK across cities, communities, infrastructure, economy, and ecosystems.

It stated that the third National Adaptation Programme (NAP3) must be much more ambitious than its only to a long overdue shift to focus towards the delivery of effective adaptation.

Councils are critical in preparing people and places to the impacts of climate change.

As leaders in communities, they deliver hundreds of essential services to protect public health, manage roads, prepare for floods, and provide open space.

Nationally we are not sufficiently prepared for the impacts of climate change and central government must prioritise its work with local government to close this gap.

This research report, undertaken by Local Partnerships explores local authorities’ preparedness for climate adaptation.

The report recommends that central government needs to explore and provide support to local authorities for adaptation planning and action, to ensure local government services and leadership are adapted to the changing climate, where they can be, and resilient where it is not possible. Engagement with the local government sector should capture the wider views and experience in order to design and shape policy that will support councils with understanding climate risk and appropriate adaptive.

Councils leading the way

Leeds City Council has created the country's largest flood alleviation scheme. Jonathan Moxon, Flood Risk Manager at Leeds City Council, explains why such a vital scheme was introduced there:

What the experts say

National Farmers Union Climate Change Adviser, Ceris Jones, highlights the importance of councils and how they can help agriculture reach its climate goals: