The aim of this programme is to draw together climate research and expertise to deliver robust, multi and interdisciplinary climate risk and adaptation solutions research. This will ensure the UK is resilient to climate variability, and able to exploit adaptation and green growth opportunities.
The UK Climate Resilience Programme aims to draw together fragmented climate research and expertise to deliver robust, multi and interdisciplinary climate risk and adaptation solutions research. This will ensure the UK is resilient to climate variability and change, and powerfully positioned to exploit the opportunities of adaptation and green growth.
The funding forms part of the Strategic Priorities Fund, delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to drive an increase in high quality multi and interdisciplinary research and innovation. It will ensure that UKRI’s investment links up effectively with government research priorities and opportunities.
Find more information about the programme on the UK Climate Resilience Programme website, including access to the science plan and details of supported research projects, programme news and events.
How do we make our cities and regions resilient to climate change? What are the opportunities to manage adaptation to deliver improvements to society and facilitate economic growth? These are broad and urgent questions for decision makers from national to local scales, in government, business and society. It is recognised that there is a need to use UK expertise and make this transferable to others, while better understanding and assessing the effectiveness of adaptation and climate resilience interventions.
There are two major knowledge gaps:
- characterising and qualifying climate-related risks in decision-relevant terms
- developing effective adaptation strategies and policies that deliver resilience, improve lives, and promote economic growth.
We have the opportunity to deliver green growth by better understanding how people, businesses and institutions can adapt under a changing climate. As we transition to a low carbon future, there is an opportunity to exploit the co-benefits of climate resilient development. Alongside increasing climate resilience, we can design better environments that promote improved quality of life and facilitate new economic opportunities. There is a particular opportunity to develop a new generation of climate services. These services will exploit novel understanding, technology innovations, engineering solutions and the community and commercial behaviours that are needed to build resilient futures across the UK and internationally.
The main objective of the UK Climate Resilience Programme is to drive innovative multi and interdisciplinary research within UKRI and Met Office communities to address the aforementioned knowledge gaps. These are:
Characterising, quantifying and communicating climate-related risks
Climate risk is an integration of weather and climate hazards, the impacts of these hazards across the natural environment and human populations, vulnerability and exposure. For example, the impacts that a heavy rainfall event has on livelihoods, flood defences, finances and homes, businesses and civil infrastructure built on a flood plain.
The aim is to develop robust approaches, including the software tools, needed to quantify current and future risk in decision relevant metrics. This involves fundamental research challenges, including:
- end-to-end understanding of key processes and uncertainties
- understanding behavioural responses to climate risk at individual, community, regional and (inter)governmental levels
- providing climate and impacts information at relevant spatial scales
- different risk communications routes
- improving and characterising climate predictions and projections across timescales from the near-term to several decades or more in the future
- combining hazard vulnerability exposure information into risk metrics
- decision makers’ perception of risk.
Developing risk-informed resilience and optimise the opportunities from a transition to a low carbon future
Building a low carbon future presents opportunities to increase national resilience and provide co-benefits including improvements to wellbeing and the economy. The fundamental research needed includes:
- designing decision frameworks to balance protection, co-benefits and costs
- developing new adaptation approaches
- promoting behaviour changes
- monitoring the effectiveness of adaptation.
Co-producing pilot end-to-end climate services
Climate services are at an early stage of development and new research will:
- develop novel co-production processes
- develop industry quality standards
- investigate governance approaches and design improved monitoring.
The research from this programme should add to the evidence base for the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment and the National Adaptation Programme. It should also align with the UK government’s 25 Year Environment Plan (2018), specifically the goal to reduce the risk of harm from environmental hazards and to mitigate and adapt to climate change. It will contribute to the government’s Clean Growth Strategy (2017) and support the Department for Transport’s current priorities for building resilience. It will support Public Health England’s Strategic Plan (2016) and the Animal Plant Health Agency with respect to increasing our resilience to pests and diseases with changing climate, extreme heat and the impact of flooding.