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Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union:

Content provided by the United Kingdom before 31 January 2020 remains accessible on this website. From the entry into force of the UK Withdrawal Agreement on 1 February 2020, content from the United Kingdom will no longer be updated on this website.

Last update: Nov 04, 2022

Item Status Links
National Adaptation Strategy
  • Adopted
National Adaptation Plan
  • Adopted
Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments
  • Completed
Research programs
  • Currently being undertaken
Meteorological observations
  • Established
Climate projections and services
  • Established
CC IVA portals and platforms
Monitoring, indicators, methodologies
  • Established


  • Being developed
Monitoring Mechanism Regulation
  • Last reporting on Adaptation (Art. 15) submitted
National Communication to the UNFCCC
  • Last National Communication Submitted

Responsibility for climate change adaptation is split between the four countries of the UK. Her Majesty's Government (HMG) is responsible for climate change adaptation in England and for reserved matters with national governments in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland responsible for adaptation in all devolved policy areas. The Climate Change Act 2008 created a framework for building the UK's ability to adapt to climate change, by establishing:

  • That a UK-wide Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) must take place every five years;
  • That a National Adaptation Programme (NAP) must be put in place to address climate change risks and reviewed following each CCRA;
  • The "Adaptation Reporting Power" (ARP) giving HMG and the Welsh Government the discretionary power to require relevant bodies to report on their climate preparedness;
  • The Adaptation Sub-Committee (ASC) of the independent Committee on Climate Change to advise government and evaluate adaptation progress.

Adaptation Strategies

England and Reserved Matters

Whilst adaptation is mainstreamed within key policy areas across UK government, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) leads on adaptation policy and co-ordinates policy work on adaptation in England, and throughout the UK on a range of reserved matters including cross-cutting action required under the Act. The second National Adaptation Programme (NAP) was published in July 2018, and sets out how the Government will address the risks highlighted in the second Climate Change Risk Assessment (published 2017) over the following 5 years. The NAP covers England and a range of reserved matters and was laid before Parliament in January 2017, as required by the Climate Change Act 2008. The over-arching aim of the NAP is to shape a society which makes timely far-sighted and well-informed decisions to address the risks and opportunities posed by a changing climate. The NAP contains measurable actions in the natural environment, infrastructure, people and built environment, business and industry, and local government areas. On implementation, the NAP defines policies and measures to be implemented at several levels and identifies the actors responsible for their implementation. The NAP has a time horizon of 5 years (2018-23), and provides, in Annex 1, tables identifying milestones for each action. The NAP was published alongside the Government´s Third Strategy for Climate Adaptation Reporting, setting out the approach for the third ARP reporting round (2019-2021). Once finalised, these reports will be made publically available and provide useful perspectives on the resilience of core sectors.


A new five-year Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme, Climate Ready Scotland, will be published in 2019 under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. Scottish Ministers´ aims for this second statutory Programme are to:

  • ensure that Scotland is resilient to the intensifying impacts of climate change as a crucial step to delivering a greener, fairer and more prosperous country;
  • help to create a better society for everyone who lives in Scotland; and
  • unlock Scotland´s immense potential as a nation.

The new Programme builds on the previous sector and risk-based approaches of Scotland´s 2009 plan and 2014 programme, with seven high-level outcomes - derived from both the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Scotland´s National Performance Framework - and centred on communities, climate justice, the economy, infrastructure, natural environment, marine environment, and international partnerships.


The Climate Change Act 2008 requires Welsh Ministers to lay from time to time a report before the National Assembly for Wales on the objectives, actions and future priorities of Welsh Ministers around the impacts of climate change. The Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 sets out the Wellbeing Goals, including the goal of "A Resilient Wales", for public sector organisations, as well as the requirement for Public Service Boards to pay regard to the CCRA when making wellbeing assessments. The Environment (Wales) Act 2016 sets further provisions with regards to climate change, including requirements around natural resources policy and a duty to protect our ecosystems. Welsh Government published its second Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Wales in draft form, in December 2018. Following public consultation, a final version of the plan will be published later in 2019. Part one of the new, draft plan details the above legal and policy framework for adaptation in Wales. Part two of our new draft plan details the areas where we will act, how we will work with our partners and support effective adaptation to a changing climate.

Northern Ireland

The Climate Change Act requires Northern Ireland Departments to prepare an adaptation programme to address the climate change risks to Northern Ireland, as soon as reasonably practicable after the laying before Parliament of the CCRA, and to review them every five years. Reports on the adaptation programme and subsequent progress are required to be made to the Northern Ireland Assembly. The first Northern Ireland Climate Change Adaptation Programme (NICCAP1) was laid before the Assembly in January 2014 and covers the period 2014-2019. It contains the Government´s response to the risks and opportunities identified in the CCRA for Northern Ireland published in 2012 as part of the first UK CCRA. It provides strategic objectives, proposals and policies by which each department will meet these objectives, and associated timescales. A second NICCAP (NICCAP2) is currently under development and is a continuation of the process of adapting to a changing climate in Northern Ireland. The programme will be published in 2019 and will cover the period 2019-2024. NICCAP2 primarily contains governments´ response to the relevant risks and opportunities identified in the CCRA Evidence Report for Northern Ireland as part of the second UK CCRA. NICCAP2 sets the strategies, policies, actions and delivery action plans by which government departments will deliver on agreed adaptation outcome objectives. NICCAP2 also contains adaptation actions and delivery plans which will be undertaken and implemented by outside government sectors including local government. These outside government actions will contribute to addressing the findings of the CCRA Evidence Report for Northern Ireland and help deliver the outcome objectives of NICCAP2 over the lifetime of the programme.

Monitoring, reporting and evaluation

England and Reserved Matters

Work is carried out across Government to regularly track implementation of the NAP. The ASC has a statutory duty to assess the progress in implementing the NAP, reporting to Parliament every two years. Their next Progress Report is scheduled for summer 2019. The ASC also has evaluated and provided advice to Government on the Adaptation Reporting Power.


As required by the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, the Scottish Government has reported annually to the Scottish Parliament since 2015 on progress on adaptation, and commissioned two independent assessments of the Scottish Adaptation Programme by the Adaptation Committee of the Committee on Climate Change in 2016 and 2019.


The new, draft Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Wales sets out a framework to report our progress every two years. A monitoring and evaluation framework will be published with the final plan to provide clear structure and consistency. Welsh Government intends to work with the UK Committee on Climate Change to allow for independent evaluation.

Northern Ireland

NICCAP2 will incorporate lessons learnt and findings of an end-of-programme evaluation of NICCAP1. An initial set of measurable indicators, which are statistical datasets, have been assigned where possible, against a relevant NICCAP2 outcome objective. These will act as an evaluation mechanism to gauge the progress made towards delivering the outcome objective. NICCAP2 will be subject to a mid-programme review (expected in 2022) and an end of programme evaluation (expected in 2024). The mid - programme review will provide an assessment on the progress of the implementation of the delivery plans -  actions, the appropriateness of the assigned indicators, and the progress towards delivering the programme´s outcome objectives.


Sectors addressed in NAS/NAP

England and Reserved Matters

The second National Adaptation Programme (NAP) is structured around five thematic chapters, namely; the Natural Environment, Infrastructure, People and the Built Environment, Business and Industry, and Local Government. Policies to support adaptation for each theme are outlined in the corresponding NAP chapter and actions listed in the Annex. These chapters have been organised to mirror the second CCRA evidence report so that there is a clear line of sight from CCRA assessments to NAP actions, ensuring it tackles all the priority risks identified in the CCRA. These are:

  • Flooding and coastal change risks to communities, built environment and infrastructure
  • Risks to health and wellbeing and productivity from high temperatures
  • Risk of shortages in the public water supply and for agriculture, energy generation and industry with impacts on freshwater ecology
  • Risks to natural capital including terrestrial, coastal, marine and freshwater ecosystems, soils and biodiversity
  • Risks to domestic and international food production and trade
  • New and emerging pests and diseases, and invasive non-native species affecting people, plants and animals.

Correspondingly, examples of actions set out in the NAP include:

  • On flooding risks: we will be investing £2.6 billion over six years to improve flood defences, to better protect over 300,000 homes.
  • On risks related to high temperatures: we will adapt our health systems to protect people against the impacts of climate change, such as ensuring all clinical areas in National Health Service Trusts have appropriate thermal monitoring in place.
  • On risks related to natural capital: we will develop and start to implement a Nature Recovery Network, linking habitat restoration and creation to improved access, flood protection and water quality.

Mainstreaming: The NAP is a result of cross-department collaboration, and brings together government´s policies to manage key climate risks in one place. This approach is integral to ensuring adaptation is embedded across all levels of government.


The Scottish Government and Scottish local authorities invest £42 million annually in flood protection. Scotland´s National Coastal Change Assessment Dynamic Coast will continue its second phase in 2019. Historic Environment Scotland has completed a comprehensive risk assessment of over 330 properties in care. Scottish Natural Heritage has conducted a world-leading study of climate change and Scotland´s geology. Adaptation Scotland has produced guidance for public and business sectors. Scotland is developing a unique place-based approach with Climate Ready Clyde, Edinburgh Adapts and Aberdeen Adapts projects in major cities, and the new Levenmouth Adapts community initiative.


Welsh Government´s new, draft Climate Change Adaptation Plan responds to the 37 "more urgent" risks and opportunities to Wales, detailed in the Wales summary of the CCRA. Our adaptation framework is set out in part one of the new, draft plan and explains how the 32 actions tackle these risks by seeking to improve knowledge, capacity and resilience in 1 strategic chapter and 7 sector chapters:

  • Adaptive nature and our rural economy,
  • Protecting our coasts and seas,
  • Staying healthy,
  • Safe homes and places,
  • Caring for the historic environment,
  • Successful businesses, and,
  • Resilient infrastructure and transport.

This approach will mean doing what we can to answer the 21 "research priorities" to make sure we understand the risks before taking appropriate action, as well as acting upon the 16 risks where more action is needed. With regards to research, Wales needs to do more to understand the impacts of climate change in sectors such as health. In terms of increasing action, our greatest focus is on the natural environment and our natural assets.

Northern Ireland

To take account of cross cutting issues to the climate change risks and opportunities being brought forward in the NICCAP1, four primary areas for action have been identified. These are flooding, water, natural environment and agriculture and forestry. The NICCAP1 contains a range of actions and activities to address risk in these areas. NICCAP2 sets an overarching aim for a "resilient Northern Ireland which will take timely and well-informed decisions to address the socio economic and environmental impacts of climate change". To achieve this NICCAP2 sets out the key priority areas under which climate change adaptation actions are required over the next five years as follows:

  1. NC: Natural Capital, including Terrestrial/Coastal/Marine/Freshwater ecosystems, soils and biodiversity
  2. IF: Infrastructure Services
  3. P: People and Built Environment
  4. B: Disruption to Businesses & supply chains
  5. I: Food Security/Global Food Production

The five priority areas also incorporate the findings of, and are correlated closely to, the chapters of the Evidence Report for NI in the second UK CCRA. Under the five key priority areas of the NICCAP2 seven strategic "Outcome Objectives" are identified. Each objective has reportable and time set action based outcome delivery plans in which to achieve that objective. These outcome objectives are:

  1. NC1: We will have species, habitats and water bodies that are resilient to the impacts of climate change
  2. NC2: We have coastal communities, habitats, landforms and infrastructure that are resilient to impacts of climate change
  3. NC3: We have soils and woodland that are resilient to the impacts of climate change
  4. IF1: We have Transport & Network Services that are resilient to the impacts of Flooding & extreme weather
  5. P1: We have people, homes, buildings and communities that are resilient to the impacts of flooding & extremes of weather
  6. B1: We have businesses that can adapt to impacts of Climate Change & extreme weather
  7. I1: We have a food system resilient to impacts of Climate Change


Observations and projections

Defra and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) co-fund the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme (MOHCCP), which provides world-leading climate science. In November 2018 the Met Office and UK Government published a new set of UK Climate Projections (UKCP18). The UKCP18 are the first major update to the UK´s national climate change projections for nearly 10 years, and includes regional scenarios. A significant extension to this work will also be released later in 2019, in the form of high resolution 2.2km local level climate projections for the UK. We will use these projections to inform our adaptation and mitigation planning and decision-making, and will be encouraging businesses and communities to make use of the projections to help take action themselves to improve resilience. The UK Met Office publish an annual State of the UK Climate report which provides an accessible, up-to-date assessment of UK climate trends, variations and extremes based on the latest available high quality climate observational datasets. In relation to England, in November 2018 the Environment Agency published an evidence report on "Climate change impacts and adaptation", including examples of current and future impacts and the adaptations that are needed.

Impact and Vulnerability Assessment

The second UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) was laid before Parliament in January 2017. It is underpinned by an evidence report prepared independently by the Adaptation Sub-Committee (ASC) of the Committee on Climate Change, and published in July 2016. The evidence report analyses around 60 key present-day climate risks and opportunities and current levels of adaptation. It assesses how climate and socio-economic change may alter those risks and opportunities in the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s. The evidence report has taken a policy-focused approach to presenting the results, using the concept of urgency to prioritise the risks and opportunities. It considers where additional action is needed in the next five years, considering current and planned policies, and identifies six priority risk areas (flooding, water scarcity, overheating, impacts on natural capital, food security, and pests and diseases). The evidence report considers impacts on a number of large sectors, including infrastructure, people and the built environment, and business and industry. Evidence summaries were also produced for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to describe the risks and opportunities specific to each part of the UK. Defra and the UK Devolved Administrations are currently working with the ASC on delivering the evidence review for the third Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA3, scheduled for 2022), including filling identified evidence gaps through six associated research projects.


Risks for Scotland are set out in the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment Evidence Report National Summary for Scotland 2016.


The second CCRA includes summary reports for each of the devolved administrations in the UK, including Wales. The Wales summary presents a national assessment of the potential risks and opportunities arising from climate change to Wales for the rest of the century, and highlights those which are of high priority within five years of its publication. As a result of the latest UK Climate Projections (UKCP18 - detailed above), Welsh Government will be revising and re-publishing its booklet "Climate change: its impacts for Wales" in 2019. The booklet will help all sectors and organisations to understand the impacts at a local level within Wales.


The second CCRA recognises the importance of further research to shape UK adaptation activity. It classifies risks by urgency category, including setting out 18 risks determined to be "Research Priorities". The second NAP actions also reflects some of these needs, for instance, setting out an action for continued work with the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) which coordinates high quality evidence on marine climate change impacts for the UK. The Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme (MOHCCP) produces science advice on present day climate and future climate. It covers information on both mitigation and adaptation relevant science, including information on observed global and UK change, detection and attribution of climate change including extreme events, production of seasonal and decadal forecasts and information relevant to mitigation advice. A UK Research & Innovation and Met Office "Strategic Priorities Fund" (SPF) project has been launched on Climate Resilience, aiming to draw together different threads of climate research and expertise to deliver robust, multi-disciplinary climate risk and solutions research. Additionally the UK Met Office takes part in many relevant EU projects that BIC administrations may be interested in, including CRESCENDO, PRIMAVERA and EUCP. The "Research & Innovation for our Dynamic Environment" (RIDE) Forum is a forum of 19 public sector member organisations who hold a stake in environmental change research, innovation and training. RIDE evolved out of an earlier partnership called "Living With Environmental Change (LWEC)", which the UK Government supported to develop Climate Change Impact Report Cards.


The Scottish Government funds research and pilot projects through Centres of Expertise - ClimateXChange (climate change) and CREW (water).


The devolved administrations of the UK and UK Government will work closely together to tackle research needs and share best practice. Welsh Government contributes funding to a joint evidence budget with Defra. This funding is used towards development of the third CCRA and the research projects to support it. The devolved administrations of the UK and UK Government also collaborate with the Irish Government in a climate change adaptation sub-group to the British Irish Council. This sub-group seeks to find continued means to collaborate on joint issues and share best practice. Furthermore, Wales contributes to the work done globally with RegionsADAPT. Launched in 2015 alongside COP 21 in Paris, Regions ADAPT provides a global framework to inspire and support governments to take concrete action, collaborate and report efforts on climate change adaptation. Our draft adaptation plan includes a number of research areas to improve our knowledge of climate change risks. This includes an EU funded joint research priority under the Ireland Wales programme towards - Adaptation of the Irish Sea and Coastal Communities to Climate Change.



    England and Reserved Matters

    The Domestic Adaptation Board, chaired by Defra, oversees cross-Government action and has members from most government departments, the Devolved Administrations and the Environment Agency (EA). There are a wide range of organisations responsible for the implementation of actions in the second NAP. A range of around 50 organisations (government departments, agencies and other stakeholders) are assigned responsibility for delivery of actions, often working alongside key partners in their policy areas or networks. As previously highlighted, under the Adaptation Reporting Power (ARP) the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has the discretionary power to direct or invite key organisations to prepare reports on how they are adapting to climate change. A wide range of infrastructure providers and public bodies will be participating in the third ARP reporting round (from 2019-2021), including those responsible for water, energy, transport, environment, heritage, health and finance. As well as providing government and the public with information on the resilience of core sectors, the ARP process provides a tool for awareness raising, for organisational capacity building, and for publicising examples of good practice, many of which come from the private sector. In England, the Local Adaptation Advisory Panel (LAPP) provides a forum for dialogue on climate change adaptation between local government, central government and arms-length delivery bodies. The Infrastructure Operators Adaptation Forum (IOAF) is a network coordinated by the Environment Agency, enabling members to learn from each other and work together to reduce vulnerability and realise opportunities presented by points of dependency between infrastructure systems.


    Devolved responsibility for climate change policy in Scotland rests with the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.


    Welsh Government engaged publicly at events and via consultation to develop the new, draft Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Wales. As a result, a number of actions have been proposed in the draft plan to help build capacity. This includes new guidance for businesses and more support for Public Service Boards. Furthermore, Welsh Government has published statutory guidance to help other organisations develop adaptation plans. The guidance will be reviewed to reflect the latest understanding of climate change risk. Following public consultation in 2011, Welsh Government decided not to use the Adaptation Reporting Power afforded to Welsh Ministers under the Climate Change Act 2008, but instead decided to promote the use of our statutory guidance to support adaptation within reporting authorities. However, our new, draft plan commits to review this position in the future.

    Northern Ireland

    The Climate Change Unit in the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is responsible for the co-ordination of the cross Departmental work on adaptation. It leads on development, implementation and monitoring of the NI Climate Change Adaptation Programme, though responsibility is shared with all government departments. Climate NI is a partnership of external stakeholders from a range of key sectors who provide advice and support to Government with the aim of increasing the understanding of the impacts of climate change, sharing best practice and promoting action to address the impacts of climate change. For NICCAP2, Climate NI was commissioned by DAERA to work with stakeholders outside of government to develop their response to the climate change risks and opportunities identified in the Evidence Report for Northern Ireland published as part of the second UK CCRA. NICCAP2 will contain a chapter written by Climate NI and owned by outside government stakeholders who provided input to the chapter. The chapter provides adaptation outcome objective delivery plans, with actions listed, that will be undertaken by Civil Society and Local Government, and which will contribute to the delivery of NICCAP2 outcome objectives.


    England and Reserved Matters

    The UK Met Office offers comprehensive information about climate and climate change through its website . A Climate Guide section provides comprehensive information about climate, climate change and climate science. The Met Office also hosts the National Climate Information Centre, which holds national and regional climate information for the United Kingdom, summarized in tables, maps, figures and summaries. Information is available on averages, extremes, climate anomalies, etc. The Met Office website also contains 'Climate Services' and 'Climate Service UK' sections, where consultancy training services are offered to help national and international users accurately interpret the available climate information. It aims to provide business and society with a range of products and services that provide the vital information, tools and advice needed to help manage climate variability and change, and build capacity in developing countries. Climate projections for the UK are offered to all kinds of potential users through a specific and dedicated website . It offers information on climate projections that can be consulted tailored to different profiles, levels of expertise, etc. The UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP)'s website offers a wide set of tools, information, and other contents to support organisations, sectors and governments adapt to the changing climate through practice-based research, and by providing support and advice. For England and Wales, the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales website provides specific advice and support to key sectors to help them build resilience to climate change, in particular on water resources and environment, coastal erosion, floods.


    Under contract to the Scottish Government, sustainability charity Sniffer delivers the Adaptation Scotland programme, promoting collaboration and offering free access to the best quality data on climate trends and access to tools, guidance and advice. Scottish Government has funded ClimateXChange since 2011 to provide an evidence base for adaptation policy-making (and the transition to a low carbon economy) through independent research and analysis. ClimateXChange are also developing metrics to determine the extent to which Scotland is adapting to the impacts of climate change, whether resilience is increasing and opportunities are being realised.


    Welsh Government has published its "Preparing for a Changing Climate" statutory guidance which helps organizations in Wales assess, prepare and act on risks from a changing climate. The guidance sets out a five-part, cyclical risk assessment approach for building resilience and developing a planned response to the threats and opportunities from climate change. The guidance has been developed in response to the Climate Change Act 2008 requirements. A number of other tools were also developed as a result of our first adaptation plan including a Knowledge Transfer Programme, a Welsh Local Authority Adaptation Resource and a Climate Resilience and Extreme Weather Knowledge Hub. These tools will be reviewed and revised as part of our new, draft adaptation plan.

    Northern Ireland

    The Climate Change Unit in the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs works with Climate NI to build adaptation capacity through information dissemination workshops and seminars and other platforms.


      England and Reserved matters (Her Majesty’s Government)
      Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
      Seacole Building 2 Marsham Street London SW1P 4DF United Kingdom
      Climate adaptation policy team: 

      Environment Agency (England): 

      Scottish Government
      Directorate for Energy and Climate Change
      Climate Change Policy Unit 

      Adaptation Scotland 

      Welsh Government
      Decarbonisation and Energy Division 

      Northern Ireland Executive
      Climate Change Team
      Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs  
      Climate Northern Ireland: 


      The source of information presented in these pages is the reporting of EU Member States under 'Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action' and the voluntary reporting of EEA Member Countries.'