In March 2023, leading voices from the UK’s climate resilience community convened at the Wellcome Collection in London for the UK Climate Resilience Programme (UKCR) Final Conference.
As well as acknowledging the research advancements made by the programme, the conference highlighted the implications for climate adaptation policy and practice, and the next steps vital to bolstering the climate resilience of the UK.
Over its four-year lifespan, the UKCR programme has commissioned and funded more than 60 projects to understand and quantify climate risk, to manage climate risk and to develop climate services.
On the first day of the conference, key findings from a selection of these projects were presented to online and in-person delegates, through a series of talks and Q&A sessions. On the second day, three panel discussions – focusing on risk, adaptation and climate services – considered how the vast range of information from the programme could be brought together to develop a collective understanding, and how it could be used to support policy and practice.
Through insightful questions and comments, the wider community present in the audience helped to shape an even greater collective awareness that would not have otherwise been achieved. A series of key messages emerged, which can be structured into three areas:
- New areas of research outputs developed during the programme;
- Findings from these research initiatives that can inform policy making; and
- Where the need for future research still exists.
In addition, there was a call for a stronger governance structure within the UK to support the continued development and coordination of adaptation approaches. Central to this, a boundary spanning hub could be developed, to facilitate knowledge, expertise and skills exchange, and foster networking opportunities for researchers, policy makers and people developing adaptation strategies.
These outcomes closely align with those of the UKCR Showcase (which took place during October 2022 in Hull) and the UKCR publication Quantifying Climate Risk and Building Resilience in the UK, due to be published later this year.
Further reading and resources:
- Further details are available on the CONFERENCE WEBPAGE, including presentation recordings and accompanying slides.
- The Carbon Brief article ‘Climate resilience: Is the UK ready for the impacts of global warming?’ summarises some of the research findings presented during the conference.
- Met Office Senior Communications Executive Adam Walmsley, inspired by the conference panel discussions, reflects on the achievements of the UKCR programme in his blog ‘What differences has the UK Climate Resilience Programme made to the UK?’.
- The UKCR video What is the UK Climate Resilience Programme? premiered on the first day of the conference.