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Heatwaves: adapting to climate change

Source(s):  Parliament of the United Kingdom

This report is an output of the UK House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee. This report provides a summary of the inquiry on heatwaves in the country, especially in the context of climate change, the impact of heatwaves on health, well-being and economic productivity, and a review of current policies and preparation for heatwaves.

The inquiry revealed the need for clear Government leadership and cross-departmental collaboration on preparation for heatwaves. Funding for programmes to support local authority climate change adaptation was withdrawn in 2015/16, leading to the closure of numerous regional climate change partnerships. A lack of monitoring of local authority capacity has allowed heatwave adaptation to slip to the bottom of the pile. 

The Government should introduce an urban green infrastructure target in the National Planning Policy Framework to ensure towns and cities are adapted to more frequent heatwaves in the future. Although adaptation to heatwaves spans the remit of many Government departments, the inquiry also found that there is a silo approach to policies for heatwave risk. 

The fragmented responsibilities of public health and healthcare leaders have led to uncertainties around heatwave resilience in health and social care systems, while departments responsible for critical national infrastructure such as transportation and water supply need to better study heat-health risks and economic losses.



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  • Heatwaves: adapting to climate change
  • Publication date 2018
  • Number of pages 53 p.

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