New research to step up the UK’s resilience to the impacts of climate change, such as flooding, heatwaves and extreme weather storms, is made possible by the launch of a new £5 million research programme today (Friday 6 August).
Providing high-quality scientific research and analysis, the research programme, ‘Climate Services for a Net Zero Resilient World’, will help inform future climate policy and will be led by a consortium of some of the leading authorities in environmental science. The consortium will be led by Ricardo, a global strategic engineering and environmental consultancy.
This will ensure the UK is able to respond to the impacts a warming planet will have on national infrastructure. This includes heat waves causing record temperatures in buildings, extreme weather damage to power stations and electricity networks, and flooding impacting our communities. The programme will also engage with local authorities on local climate action plans, by equipping them with information on how to help households cope with extreme temperatures and helping them to identify low-cost, low-carbon measures.
Dr Sean Wilkinson, Reader in Structural Engineering at the School of Engineering, is the Newcastle University lead on the project.
He said: “Two things are certain, our climate is changing and we are now in a race to net zero. I am really looking forward to working with BEIS the energy companies, Ofgem and all the other stakeholders to ensure that our energy supplies remain resilient as we face these challenges.”
This announcement comes as the UK Government steps up its climate leadership ahead of COP26, making world-leading commitments to eliminate the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050. In recent months alone, the Government has launched a new UK Emissions Trading Scheme, committed to end coal power by 2024, secured record investment in wind power, and pledged billions in funding to support the development of carbon capture and the decarbonisation of transport.
UK Climate & Energy Minister and International Adaption and Resilience COP26 Champion Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “Climate change poses a threat to both our way of life and the safety of our nation. The climate decisions taken by the government now, and over these crucial next few years, are vital to protect our homes, our wellbeing, and our future.
“This new programme brings together the brightest and best climate scientists, universities and research institutions from across the country to provide us with the latest tools, advice, and research to inform future climate policies at a national and local level. This research will be vital to ensure we’re making the best possible choices on our journey to net-zero, making certain the UK is adaptable and more resilient to the effects of climate change.”