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Floods, storms and heatwaves in recent years have tested the UK’s emergency and local government services, businesses and resilience. These extreme events illustrate the challenges we will face in adapting to climate change. The term ‘adaptation’ in this context refers to adapting to the effects of the climate change that is already likely to happen as a result of past carbon emissions.

While urgent efforts to reduce emissions continue, projections show that a certain amount of climate change in the UK is now inevitable, leading to warmer, wetter winters; hotter, drier summers; and more extreme weather events such as storms and floods.

DEFRA leads on Government adaptation policy: On 31st March 2010 sixteen Government Departments published Departmental Adaptation Plans

Changing Work in a Changing Climate - Adaptation to climate change in the UK , new research on implications for employment. This report features a number of recommendations for Government, employers and unions including:

  • The Government should produce new guidance on adapting workplaces to deal with the impacts of climate change. Employers should be encouraged to adapt their buildings so that their staff are secure and can work comfortably.
  • A new maximum temperature should be introduced, above which, employees would not be expected to work.
  • Employers should work with their employees and unions to develop adaptation policies that work and that are sustainable for the long term.
    Download Changing Work in a Changing Climate [PDF]

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