POS welcomed the announcement on 1st July by Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, that establishes a voluntary approach on reporting authorities (including local authorities) to produce reports on how they are getting ready to tackle climate change.
In addition to setting out requirements for the Climate Change Risk Assessment and the National Adaptation Programme, the Climate Change Act 2008 gives the Secretary of State the power to direct reporting authorities (organisations with functions of a public nature and statutory undertakers) to produce reports detailing:
The report published on 1st July by DEFRA, as part of the Government's National Adaptation Programme, shows that 64% of UK businesses have suffered supply chain disruption due to extreme weather and 70% of major businesses and their suppliers see significant risk from climate change. Yet only 40% of large businesses in the UK are taking action to ensure they are ready to deal with the impacts of climate change.
The Climate Change Risk Assessment, which was published last year, showed that unless action is taken to respond to climate change, the UK could incur significant costs and miss out on important business opportunities, both at home and abroad.
The National Adaptation Programme report sets out the actions that leading businesses, councils and communities, as well as government, are taking to tackle climate threats and take advantage of new opportunities.
John Silvester, Society Spokesperson, said "POS has been supporting local authorities through its Responding to Climate Change Supported Learning Group to explore different aspects of planning for climate change at a practical level, and how policies can be developed which are effective and readily applied in relation to development proposals." Silvester added " authorities will need to 'wake up and smell the coffee' and take these matters seriously if they are to meet their new voluntary reporting responsibilities."