Reuters reports that from increasingly sweltering homes and worsening wildfires to empty supermarket shelves, Britain is failing to prepare for many of the likely impacts of a hotter planet, the country’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC) warned on Wednesday.
Even as leaders ramp up efforts to achieve the UK’s net-zero emissions goal, Britain is falling ever-further behind on plans to adapt to threats including erosion-hit coastal railways and too-hot schools, the independent advisory group said.
“Adaptation remains the Cinderella of climate change. It’s under-funded and often overlooked,” said Julia King, chair of adaptation for the CCC and a member of the House of Lords.
“We’re not prepared in the UK yet for unprecedented events that could occur now,” she told an online discussion as the group released its third report on climate risks, the first in five years.
It looked at the expected impacts of planetary heating of 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial times – the less-ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement – as well as the possibility of 4C of warming if efforts to ramp up global emissions cuts falter.
Those impacts include everything from worsening food security, as crops both grown in and imported to Britain fail, to increasingly deadly and damaging heatwaves, floods, droughts and sea level rise that will hit families and businesses.
“Climate risks will ultimately affect every sector of our economy and our society,” warned Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of England and a UN special envoy for climate action and finance, calling many of the risks “unprecedented”.