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July 6, 2023

Experts say ‘policy gaps and hubris’ expose UK to climate damage

A UK reservoir shrinks in the extreme heat of summer 2022. A joint report has now urged the government to channel £1bn of private finance into climate adaptation every year by 2030. (Photo: Carlos Jasso/Bloomberg)
A UK reservoir shrinks in the extreme heat of summer 2022. A joint report has now urged the government to channel £1bn of private finance into climate adaptation every year by 2030. (Photo: Carlos Jasso/Bloomberg)

Critical report makes a slew of recommendations, including a dedicated office for climate readiness as well as the creation of ‘adaptation’ bonds.

The UK government risks throwing away the country’s position as a climate leader and leaving it vulnerable to the physical consequences of climate change, academics and researchers have warned.

A new report authored by the Green Finance Institute and Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute and Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment has made 25 recommendations to the government, urging it to accelerate the UK financial sector’s response to climate impacts.

The report says gaps in UK policy are hindering the flow of capital towards preparing for climate impacts, such as extreme heat and floods. It urges the government to channel £1bn of private finance into UK climate adaptation every year by 2030.

Recommendations include establishing a national office for climate readiness; ordering two development banks, the UK Infrastructure Bank and the British Business Bank, to focus on preparing for climate impacts alongside their net zero commitments; and issuing the UK’s first “adaptation” bond.

In the report, Green Finance Institute chair Emma Boyde said UK financial institutions were well prepared to support the UK’s climate transition. “However, a mixture of policy gaps and hubris borne of the UK’s climate leadership in recent decades, mean we risk losing the advantage,” she added.

The government is set to publish a new five-year plan for managing climate impacts this summer.

Read the report here.

A service from the Financial Times