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Adapting to Climate Change

Climate change adaptation is about dealing with the consequences of climate change, such as rising sea levels, water shortages and more extreme weather.

The Climate Change Act 2008 requires a UK-wide climate change risk assessment to be carried out every five years. The government published the first risk assessment on 25 January 2012.

The government must also put in place a national adaptation programme to address climate change risks. The first national adaptation programme was published on 1 July 2013. It will be reviewed in five years time.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has policy responsibility for climate change adaptation in England. The Environment Agency is the government's delivery body. Responsibility in Wales lies with the Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales.

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 requires the Scottish Government to produce a climate change adaptation programme for Scotland following the publication of the UK-wide risk assessment. A consultation on the first draft Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme ended on 27 September 2013.


Climate Change Act 2008, sections 56-60

Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, sections 53-56

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