WEET - UK climate change adaptation - priorities, the strategic pathway to net zero emissions

Date: 8th December 2020

Location: Online

Morning, Tuesday, 8th December 2020

Online Conference

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will discuss priorities for climate change adaptation in the UK.

The discussion at a glance:

  • the strategic route map towards net zero emissions
  • creating a green, sustainable and fair COVID-19 recovery plan
  • priorities for the rescheduled COP26

Climate change and environment policy developments:

  • major initiatives - including the updated Agriculture Bill and the Environment Bill and establishment of the Office for Environmental Protection - and the National Infrastructure Strategy due this year
  • net-zero emissions by 2050 - the UK legally-binding target, with developments including the launch of a net zero transport board, and plans to reduce industrial and domestic emissions
  • flooding and costal erosion - the Government’s long-term plan to tackle the risks, and the Environment Agency’s National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England
  • emission levels - the recommendations for years 2033 to 2037 expected in December as part of the Sixth Carbon Budget
  • threats and adaptation priorities - the creation of the third Climate Change Risk Assessment, due for publication in 2022 - with updated evidence expected next year
  • economic recovery following the pandemic - the Prime Minister’s New Deal for Britain highlighting clean energy, transport and natural infrastructure restoration for adaptation
  • CC recommendations - turning the COVID-19 crisis into a defining moment in the fight against climate change - investments in low-carbon energy and energy efficiency, developing the circular economy, reskilling for low-carbon employment, setting net-zero as a core cross-departmental, goal encouraging societal behavioural change, scaling up climate research, and ensuring extreme weather events are factored in to forthcoming infrastructure strategies


The agenda:

  • Adapting to climate change - a progress update, a look ahead to 2021, and our longer-term vision for resilience to climate impacts
  • Latest thinking on the steps needed for a green and sustainable UK recovery plan
    • Preparing a sustainable pathway - economic priorities, greening supply chains, and developing policy
    • Assessing the scope of a recovery package - support for green modernisation and behaviour change, accelerating the low-carbon transition, and securing investment
    • Next steps for developing ecosystem protection and preventing lock-in emissions - tree planting, peatland restoration, and expanding national carbon sequestering
  • Reaching net-zero by 2050 - developing natural resilience, and cross-sector engagement with long-term decarbonisation
  • Next steps for adapting to the impact of climate change - developing resilience in the natural and built environment, tailoring strategies for local needs, and meeting future demand
    • Meeting the challenge of flood and coastal erosion management - an engineering perspective
    • Designing environment strategies and tailoring plans for local climate risks
  • Opportunities for COP26 and meeting the challenge of climate change on a global level
  • Policy priorities for a national green COVID-19 recovery package, preparing for COP26, and building adaptation capacity


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