Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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Defra reports to parliament on using Climate Change Act powers

Organisations delivering key public services will be required to report to Government outlining their assessment of the risks climate change poses to them and the actions they are going to take in response.

A report was laid before Parliament yesterday following a public consultation on the proposed strategy for using powers under the Climate Change Act. The Act requires public bodies and statutory undertakings, such as utilities companies, to ensure that they are adequately prepared for the impacts of climate change. It prioritises those organisations that are responsible for our key public services such as energy, water, transport and health.

These organisations will report to Government by the end of 2011. Government will also use the information to inform the National Adaptation Programme which will be laid before Parliament in 2012.

Even if we secure a new global deal at Copenhagen, some climate change is inevitable because of historic emissions, and we need to take action to adapt to it or the consequences could be severe.

The UK Climate Projections  launched earlier this year showed how climate change could affect the UK – with warmer, wetter winters; hotter, drier summers; sea level rise and more severe weather events including heat waves, storms, intense rainfall and drought.  Climate change will impact on almost every aspect of our lives. Well planned action will reduce costs for individuals, businesses and the public purse. 

The Government is already taking action. Government departments will be producing high level Adaptation Plans by spring 2010, setting out how they are assessing and managing the risks from climate change across their programmes and estates.

Notes to editors

A copy of the report is also on the Defra website: http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climate/legislation/reporting.htm#report.

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