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‘Net zero doesn’t solve the problem’: Five key lessons from the CCC’s climate risk assessment

'Net zero doesn't solve the problem': Five key lessons from the CCC's climate risk assessment

There are many urgent takeaways from the Climate Change Committee's striking UK environment preparedness rating - here are the top five

Every five years the Climate Change Committee( CCC) attends a root-and-branch review of the UK's preparedness for intensify climate bangs, such as heatwaves, avalanches, commotions, shortages, coastal erosion, and their threats to public health, food insurance, power supplies, homes, departments, and infrastructure.

And every five years, the letter has been clear: the UK is woefully unprepared for all of these risks, and the frequency and harshnes of these threats is exclusively growing.

To no one's surprise that was the conclusion of the CCC's latest rating today, a 1,500 -page review, which sets out the austere and inevitable affects from climate change impacts that the UK is already facing, and does not hold back in criticising the authorities concerned for its failure to take these threats dangerously in its policymaking and public messaging. "This needs to change, " the CCC said.

It is arguably the most openly critical the CCC has ever been of the government, but from glancing through today's report - and the myriad challenges, forks, economic opportunities, and costs of inaction it sets out - it is easy why the resentment is building at the advisory body.

The UK is clearly lag mischievously in its preparations for the inevitable impacts of rising temperatures, and the report contains numerous important tasks for anyone with even a uncertain interest in tackling climate change impacts and driving the net zero transition( i.e. everyone ), but most immediately for all levels of government and all sizes of business. Here are some of the top takeaways.

1. Damaging climate significances are inevitable, went and here today

Far too often, climate change is still thought of by many as a problem primarily mischief other more vulnerable parts of the world, which will certify itself at some undetermined quality in the future. But today's CCC report is a striking compendium of data and analysis that should in all rights throw that argument of supposing to bed once and for all.

The UK is already facing significant impact from rising temperatures: increasingly serious fills are leading to billions of pounds worth of damage each year; heatwaves are slapping millions of pounds more off the country's previously sluggish productivity; and sea, strength, and food supplies are under increasing menace. To make just one of the many specimen listed in the report, there are at present an up to 50 per cent chance of a major, prolonged heatwave pas every summer in the UK. Not simply are these threats and many more getting worse as temperatures rise, they are inevitable, given the emissions the world has already liberated. Yet efforts to adapt to the changing climate and be enhanced resilience are not keeping with the growing threats, according to the CCC.

So urgent are these threats, in fact, that the CCC is calling on the government to immediately address eight priority risk areas "at the latest in the next two years". Indeed, 60 per cent of the risks and opportunities assessed in the report have been given the highest urgency score. These include risks to soil state from increased submerge and shortage, jeopardies to natural carbon stores and sequestration from variou lucks that could be used to lead to increased CO2 emissions, threats to health from overheated the house and builds, wildfires - particularly in the rapidly heating south of England - and threats to food supplies and vital assistances due to climate-related supply series collapse.

There's no one-size-fits-all solution either, it alarms. Constituents of the south of the UK are expected to get far hotter more frequently, while some regions are expected to see more extreme cold and others are set to face shortages and increased avalanche jeopardies. The result? More hot and cold-related extinctions, increasing failings to power supplies and other key infrastructure assets, reductions in the value of wheat and other menu exports, millions of brand-new subsidence declarations - the schedule goes on and on.

The extent of the atmosphere impacts once baked-in to 2050 is "shocking", according to CCC chief executive Chris Stark. "This is a real thing now , not some concern for the future, " he emphasised. "It really has to be factored into the planning for the kind of economy and society that we want to have."

Drier summertimes, wetter wintertimes, higher oceans: this is a crisis in urgent need of both national leadership and regional planning.

2. The government is not taking climate resilience seriously fairly

It is difficult to recall the CCC being quite as overtly critical of the government than on the issue of climate adaptation and resilience. Frustration at the inaction on this critical issue has clearly been building - two years' ago CCC chair Lord Deben likened the government's preparedness for climate bangs to that of the hapless references in the BBC sitcom Dad's Army.

But today, on top of once again calling for action, the CCC has ramped up the rhetoric further. For one, the report lists a number of specific areas of government policy failure. So we speak that there was no mention of change and resilience in the UK's recently revised Nationally Judged Contribution( NDC) to the Paris Agreement, which viewed the UK adopt a 68 per cent of cases decarbonisation target for 2030. Neither was there any consideration of these climate menaces and their implications in the Future Homes Standard consultation, the 2017 Industrial Strategy, Parliament's pioneering Climate Assembly initiative, or the doomed Green Homes Grant scheme. But perhaps most egregiously , not even the fiercely seen review of the costs of delivering the UK's 2050 net zero target currently being developed by the Treasury is expected to incorporate any assessment of the costs and benefits of environment adaptation.

In short, consolidation of atmosphere adjustment is broadly absent from almost all the government's flagship climate programmes. Why? Stark reasons that resilience and adaptation assessments are pictured by politicians as less-glamorous cousins to provoking net zero missions and clean tech assets, while the long-term planning expected fell outside conventional ballot hertzs, leading to limited political persuade for the government to act. But as the failure to take seriously the threat and requisite of resilience prepare the way for pandemics has been demonstrated, it is critical these risk kindness are treated as a priority.

"There is a wilful distaste to factor some of the issues here into policymaking, and I think we have to accept that the government is not as focused on this as it should be, " Stark said. "So we're emphatically trying to throw open some of these issues by putting more focus on the changes that come ahead, so that they feel more political heat for that. It's important - that is part of the process of acquiring better plan in this country."

3. Net zero is unachievable without environment change

The wide-ranging poking of the CCC's report is to stress that improving the resilience of the UK to existing and growing climate impacts should not play second fiddle in climate policy, but that it is of equal usefulnes to the urgent need to reduce greenhouse emissions.

That is because regardless of whether the UK contacts net zero radiations by 2050 or not, myriad and costly impacts of rising temperatures are still going to occur, and surely are already starting to happen. And that is assuming the world can move on to a 2C global warming pathway. If the global economy stays on track for 3C of warming or worse, then climate resilience values become even more important. Moreover, the failure to adapt threatens to derail the UK's chances of achieving its net zero and sort destinations by leading to increased emissions.

So-called nature-based solutions to climate change - harnessing trees, clays, and seagrass to such up carbon - are very much in vogue at the moment, and are increasingly being looked at by fellowships seeking to offset their own radiations while boosting biodiversity. These numerous negative radiations solutions are also key to the UK's overarching net zero strategy - by 2050 some 80 megatonnes of CO2 sequestration is likely to be needed either directly or indirectly from mood, such as through trees or even bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, according to the CCC. Yet as today's report makes clear, the changing climate threatens to inflict significant damage to these natural assets in the UK, potentially eroding their capabilities as carbon sinks.

To take merely one example, UK peatlands are currently "liable to collapse" due to rising hot and drought, according to the CCC's is chairman of modification Kathryn Brown. Today only five per cent of upland peat in the UK is in good condition, and the government has committed to restore another five per cent, yet 100 per cent of the members of these peat fields need restoring by 2045 to stumble climate targets, she excused. It is a task that becomes even more challenging as temperatures increase.

Stark's message was, well, stark. "We cannot expect quality to mop up all that carbon if it's very dry for the trees to grow. We need to think about the various kinds of net zero economy we're going to have in the future, and we need to build in extra resilience to climate change impacts, " he said. "We will flunk on net zero, and we will fail to improve the environment overall if we don't factor in the changes in the atmosphere that are coming by 2050. "

4. Covid-1 9 stress the importance of atmosphere change

Of course, one would hope PPE dearths, recurred omissions to take early action to control margins and foist social regulations, and the inability to provide clear world counseling on how best to minimise the risk presented by Covid-1 9, would offer bountiful enough evidence of the importance of planning and lotion. And as many have pointed out, the long term threats to public health and the economy are even greater from climate change than they are from coronavirus, preparing the need to bolster resilience self-evident. As a brand-new report today from credit ratings giant Moody's today spotlit, 12 world-wide areas carrying a total of $2.1 tr of indebtednes face high-pitched or very high natural capital peril, while a further 16 areas accounting for $8.3 tr in debt face moderate exposure to intensify natural capital-related risks.

But as well as hoping political and business leaders take greater heed of the need to plan ahead, the pandemic has also come about a number of crucial changes to our lives that require consideration when it is necessary to atmosphere adaptation.

Most clearly, since millions of workers in the UK were forced to carry out their jobs from dwelling where possible, the public has been anticipating with the inadequacy of their dwellings when facing very hot and very cold temperatures. The climate resilience of our homes was already a growing problem for the UK's notoriously inefficient and climate-vulnerable housing stock pre-pandemic, but with adaptable and hybrid working now likely to become the norm for many in future, it further underscores the need for resilience-focused retrofits to existing houses and proper adaptation projecting during the development of brand-new homes and infrastructure.

The CCC's report contains some startling data on the fatigues of the UK's current building stock. During 2010 's heatwave, the loss in productivity that ensued is estimated to have cost the UK PS7 70 m. And while in 2019 simply five per cent of people succeeded exclusively from home - which are often more inadequately kitted-out for dealing with extreme heat than offices - that figure has been closer to 30 per cent at times in the last year. Moreover, during last year's heatwave, there were an estimated 2,500 heat-related deaths in England, greater than at any time since records had been launched in 2003.

Clearly the fiscal and health benefits of addressing this problem are significant. What is needed to fix the problem, then, is better building regulations and planning, to ensure existing dwellings are provided with adequate colors from urban trees, for example, and that the 300,000 brand-new dwellings the government wants to build every year are not situated on flood plains and are properly prepared for both freezing and red-hot temperatures, according to the CCC.

"We've built over half a million homes since the last Climate Change Risk Assessment that were not adapted to the kind of higher temperatures that we will see in the future - poor ventilation , no screens and windows, for example, " clarified Stark. "That means that all of those homes face a costly retrofit. That kind of cost is unnecessary. So we need to be planning that from the off."

5. The benefits of action outweigh the costs

The CCC's report makes a pretty good gash at gauge the costs of continued inaction on climate resilience, as well as the costs and benefits of taking action to address these escalating hazards. Yet still, there remains quite a large number of jeopardies and opportunities relating to climate adaptation for which the CCC said it did not have enough data to offer clear reckons, further highlighting the challenge in addressing the problem.

Even so, for those risks it was able to analyse, the CCC procured the public and economic benefits of investing rapidly to boost climate resilience and adaptation outweighed the upfront costs - and certainly the catastrophic costs of inaction. The number of high-cost threats that are likely to exces PS1bn could triple with simply 2C of warming, before climbing still further if the world remains on track to outperform the temperature the specific objectives of the Paris Agreement, according to the CCC.

What is needed now is a plan to fund these efforts, such as by unlocking financing from the private sector organizations through 'resilience bonds', ensuring environment resilience is a major factor in shaping the government's strategy new environmental land use planning remittances regime, and establishing new partnerships to accelerate the development of flood defence systems, the report suggests.

Not exclusively is boosting resilience "essential" for the future of the UK economy, but it is almost always a no-brainer, win-win investment, according to CCC adaptation committee chair Baroness Brown. "It's perfectly illogical that we are not doing it, " she said. "The challenge we have with adaptation is it's easy to put over. Now, we're talking about doing things that will make a big difference in 10, 20 or 30 years' age, and which - if we take action now - we know it's less costly than waiting for him the situation to get worse."

Almost every facet of UK society is on the cusp of unprecedented change as the net zero transition amass pace. But perhaps too often, these are viewed as fiscal switchings, while the huge changes to the climate that are now inevitable are remain poorly understood. But as the CCC's report makes clear today, these two issues - atmosphere impacts and the net zero transition - are inseparable. Should the UK, and indeed the world countries, fail to meet the challenges of one, it will flunk at the other too.

Read more: businessgreen.com

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