National Audit Office: Government Readiness for Extreme Weather

A new report from the National Audit Office (NAO), Government Resilience: Extreme Weather, outlines the UK government’s readiness to respond to increasingly extreme weather events caused by climate change.

The report finds that some positive initial steps have been taken, such as the establishment of a resilience directorate and the National Situation Centre. The latter worked effectively to identify those at risk and coordinate responses during the period of intense heat in the summer of 2022.

However, the report concludes that the government must do much more to establish what the desired outcomes are in managing these extreme weather risks. In agreeance with the Climate Change Commission (CCC), the NAO finds scant evidence that the government is driving climate change adaptation at the pace needed for the most likely near-future scenarios.

The government is committed to establishing a coordinated strategy for managing resilience to extreme weather, but this will not be available until 2030. In the mean time, the government has no handle on how much is being spent across departments in preparation and response to extreme weather. The NAO recommends the Cabinet Office develop a more comprehensive strategy and clear objectives with regards to all aspects of resilience.