University of Exeter: Experts to discuss climate risk and adaptation

The event will showcase the UK’s steps to build adaptive capacity and reduce climate risk to communities both domestically and in collaboration with developing nations through climate risk assessments and research.

It will also include crucial international perspectives on climate change risks and adaptation, with a particular focus on the Global South.

The event is co-organised by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Climate Change Committee (CCC), University of Exeter, the Met Office and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

“Climate change is increasingly impacting the UK and the rest of the world, and will continue to do so, although we can still limit the risks by rapid action,” said panel speaker Professor Richard Betts MBE, of the University of Exeter and the Met Office.

“This includes completely stopping the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and putting in place adaptation measures to protect against the changes that are already baked-in.”

The panel discussion will draw on experiences both in the UK and the Global South, including a discussion around the key findings from the CCC’s Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk.

This assessment, including an extensive Technical Report produced by a large team led by Professor Betts, will inform the UK’s third Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA3), which will be published in January.

The event, from 09:00-10:30 GMT on Monday (8 November), will be broadcast live on YouTube (

Panel presentations will focus on the following key points:

Climate change is already here, and we must adapt to protect vulnerable communities and ecosystems from facing the greatest impacts both in the UK and internationally.
Climate change risk assessments can inform evidence-based national adaptation plans.
Ongoing research is needed to support and inform risk assessments, and this research must be locally led and take a people-centred approach, if it is to address the challenges of climate change adaptation.
Climate adaptation and mitigation are intertwined – we must adapt to achieve societal and Government goals like Net Zero (keeping 1.5oC warming within reach) and ensure collaboration between mitigation and adaptation efforts to accelerate action.
The panel will also discuss experiences of capacity building and locally led adaptation interventions in the Global South and explore how better information on climate risk can lead to more effective decisions and adaptation actions.

Jo Churchill MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will be the keynote speaker, and Defra Chief Scientist Orofessor Gideon Henderson will chair the event.

The other speakers and panellists are Baroness Brown, Chair of the Adaptation Committee, CCC, Professor Betts, Dr Rosalind West, Senior Climate Advisor, FCDO, and Dr Ana Maria Loboguerrero, Research Director, Climate Action for the Alliance of Biodiversity International and CIAT.

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