The Tories’ woeful lack of leadership on climate change

A parliamentary report finds that the government is not driving action in a coordinated way


Lord Krebs, the chair of the Committee on Climate Change Adaptation Subcommittee, has given this government a score of ‘two to three’ out of 10 for their record on climate change adaptation.

His finding is cited in a report by the Environmental Audit Committee, out today. The Committee finds that although the UK is ahead of most countries in having published the National Adaptation Programme (NAP) required by the Climate Change Act 2008, the government has ‘not identified proactive adaptation policies or driven action in a coordinated way’.

For the UK, the report states, the biggest risk adaptation risk is flooding, as highlighted by the 2013-14 floods.  But only a minority of Lead Local Flood Authorities have produced the required flood risk management plans.

Lord Krebs concludes that there is a balance to be struck between what local and central government can achieve, but ultimately ‘central government need to show more leadership than has perhaps been the case so far’. This led him to score the NAP ‘well under five, and probably in the two to three range [out of 10]’.

Last year, as we reported, David Cameron said that he ‘suspected’ flooding was linked to climate change. He also appointed Owen Paterson as environment secretary, a man who has suggested previously that climate change could present ‘opportunities’ for the UK.

It is perhaps little wonder then that the Tory government is showing a woeful lack of leadership when it comes to taking action on climate change.

Commenting on the report, Labour’s shadow environment secretary Maria Eagle MP said:

“This government has totally failed to get to grips with the increasing impact of climate change which threatens homes, businesses and our national security.

“Labour will take climate change seriously and introduce a new National Adaptation Programme to provide better protection for families and businesses.”

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

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