Tuesday, 18 June 2024

The UK avoided the heat this year but has to adjust more quickly

Watching Greece burn this summer has shown us, if nothing else, the urgent need for adaptability. Even if all nations fulfill the emission reduction commitments outlined in the Paris Agreement, global warming is still expected to reach 2.5C.

Even if the UK has avoided the heat this summer, climate change predictions point to a future with wetter winters and hotter, drier summers, where temperatures of 40C like those we saw last summer could become the norm.

The UK avoided the heat

What must we do to get ready, then? The UK government presented its third national adaptation program last month, but it has drawn harsh criticism for making lofty promises while delivering meager results.

Heatwaves were not a factor in the design of many structures in the UK. According to research that was published in Nature Sustainability in July, more than 500,000 homes and other important structures, like hospitals, won’t be able to handle the anticipated 30% increase in cooling demand.

  • Greece’s summer fire highlights global warming’s need for adaptability.
  • UK structures face a cooling demand increase; heat waves are not considered in the design.
  • Cities like Sofia, Bulgaria, Galway, and Dublin are leading adaptation plans.

Fortunately, some cities have been planning, and we can take inspiration from them. With a specific focus on the most vulnerable parts of the population, an examination of adaptation plans for European cities highlighted Sofia, Bulgaria, Galway, and Dublin in Ireland as the places that are leading the way.

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