NEWS & INSIGHTS

UK climate plan to protect people from rising temperatures ‘very weak’

The UK government’s plan to protect people from the consequences of climate change is ‘very weak’, experts said. 

Speaking to the Guardian, experts warned that the government’s plan fails to adequately protect people from extreme heat. Record temperatures in the UK last year led to the early deaths of more than 3,000 people, wildfires, buckled rail lines and farmers struggling with drought. 

Expert’s comments come as the UK government’s plan faces increased scrutiny over its climate change action. The Climate Change committee recently said that the UK was “strikingly unprepared” and that there had been a “lost decade” in action on adaptation. It said heatwaves, droughts, floods and storms would intensify in the coming years until the UK reached net zero carbon emissions. 

“The new plan falls far short of being a strategy that will ensure the protection of lives and livelihoods against more frequent and intense floods, droughts and heatwaves,” said London School of Economic climate change policy director Bob Ward. 

“For example, the section on dealing with the mounting risks of heatwaves is very weak. It promises lots of new research on how homes and workplaces overheat, when this work should already have been undertaken. We need a national heat risk strategy and an urgent retrofit programme to stop existing buildings from overheating and damaging health and productivity,” he added. 

The government has also beefed up the proposal by adding recommendations it has made in the past. 

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Around 18% of the UK’s total carbon emissions come from commercial activity. As heatwaves intensify, the need for businesses to act is more urgent than ever. 

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