Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

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Priorities for climate adaptation and resilience in the UK - third National Adaptation Programme | assessing key sector vulnerabilities | implementation issues | public engagement

October 2023


Price: £150 PLUS VAT
Format: DOWNLOADABLE PDF


This conference assessed priorities for climate change adaptation and building resilience in the UK.


It was an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to examine the third National Adaptation Programme (NAP3), which was published by the UK Government in July 2023, and with applications opening in 2024.


Discussion centred on the requirements for implementing and delivering enhanced resilience and adaptation. Delegates examined the vulnerabilities of key sectors and regions within the UK, assess the progress made, and identify unresolved issues related to bolstering resilience. They also considered what further actions are necessary to ensure the successful implementation of adaptation strategies.


Delegates also considered priorities for improving the public’s understanding of risk and resilience, looking at strategies for engagement and frameworks for collaboration with communities.


We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with Baroness Brown, Chair, Adaptation Committee, Climate Change Committee; Dan McCartney, Head of Climate Adaptation, Defra; Dr Candice Howarth, Co-Director, Place-Based Climate Action Network; and Professor Suraje Dessai, Climate Change Adaptation, University of Leeds.


The discussion took place against the backdrop of:


  • the 2023 Climate Change Committee’s adaptation progress report to Parliament, finding that the Second National Adaptation Programme did not sufficiently prepare the UK for climate change, and that setbacks in the past year have cost the UK global leadership
  • IPCC’s AR6 reports providing insight into latest climate change impacts and underscoring the necessity of mitigation and adaptation measures. These reports also highlight current progress and policy gaps in these areas, and acknowledge that some climate change-related losses and damages are inevitable
  • the World Meteorological Organization’s report from May 2023, warning that the global temperature rise could temporarily reach 1.5°C within the next five years
  • the experience of extreme weather conditions in the UK during 2022

Overall, areas for discussion in the agenda included:


  • implementation: issues and priorities for the Third National Adaptation Programme - what is required from policy and stakeholder action to achieve UK resilience and appropriate adaptation
  • key vulnerabilities: nature and ecosystems - food and health - utilities and infrastructure - society and the economy - how resilience can be strengthened
  • public awareness: attitudes of vulnerabilities and risk - support for adaptation measures - priorities for engagement - building community resilience - support for the most vulnerable
  • investment: assessing funding of climate adaptation and resilience - the scale of finance required and how it can be provided - strategies for securing private finance
  • overcoming challenges: addressing barriers and pathways for successful adaptation - impact of unavoidable climate change, losses and damages - the roles of key stakeholders
  • monitoring: utilising latest international research and IPCC reports - priorities for innovation - monitoring and assessment of progress

The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from the Cabinet Office; CCC; CCS; CMA; DAERA, NI; DAFM, ROI; DBT; DCMS; Defra; Department for Infrastructure, NI; Department for the Economy, NI; Department of Finance, NI; DESNZ; DfE; DfT; DHSC; DIO; DLUHC; DSIT; DWP; FCDO; Forestry Commission; GLD; HMRC; HM Treasury; Homes England; HSE; Isle of Man Government; MCA; MOD; MOJ; NAO; NIC; OBR; OEP; OLS; ONS; Ofwat; OGP; ORR; Planning Inspectorate; Transport Scotland; UKEF; UKIB; The Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government, as well as parliamentary pass-holders from both Houses of Parliament.



This on-demand pack includes

  • A full video recording of the conference as it took place, with all presentations, Q&A sessions, and remarks from chairs
  • An automated transcript of the conference
  • Copies of the slides used to accompany speaker presentations (subject to permission
  • Access to on-the-day materials, including speaker biographies, attendee lists and the agenda