Creating climate resilience in the UK: What does this mean, and how might we achieve it? (Webinar)

UK Climate Resilience Programme webinar series 

Wednesday 8 July 12.00-13.00

Speakers: Dr Kate Lonsdale, UK Climate Resilience Champion, and Tom Hughes, Senior Policy Advisor, National Infrastructure Commission

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Abstract: Resilience is an intuitively attractive concept that is now frequently aspired to in a wide range of settings from the psychological well-being of individuals, the robustness of engineered structures, supply chain security and the response capacity of communities to flooding, to name but a few.  Despite its popularity, the term has limitations.  Academic literature has focused on definitions and theories of resilience and less on how it has been (or might be) applied, measured or evaluated.  There is a lack of consensus over key concepts and a potential for vagueness that makes translation to practice problematic.  The National Infrastructure Commission has recently completed a review of resilience of infrastructure systems in the UK. As well as recommendations to government, the review also provides a framework for resilient infrastructure, building on six key aspects of resilience: anticipate, resist, absorb, recover, adapt and transform.

As the UK Climate Resilience Programme we are interested in the use of the term in relation to climate change. Recent work suggests it may be more useful to see climate resilience not as something we need to define universally but as something that arises through interactions between the people, organisations, policies and structures in a given situation and over time.  Given the frequent use of the term in current policy documents this is a timely opportunity for critical reflection on the concept of resilience and how it can be achieved in practice in the UK.

Kate Lonsdale (UK Climate Resilience Champion) will share the findings from a small scoping study undertaken for the UK Climate Resilience Programme with funding from University of Leeds on the term ‘climate resilience’ and how easy it is to put it into practice.

Tom Hughes will introduce the recent review of NIC on resilient infrastructure, specifically their framework for resilience, findings from their systems mapping study (with Arup) and how approaches can vary across sectors, as well as recommendations to government and infrastructure providers. Tom Hughes is a Senior Policy Adviser at the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), working on the Commission’s resilience study and a number of transport projects. Before joining the NIC, Tom worked at HM Treasury in a number of roles, most recently covering devolution and EU exit policy.

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Last updated June 2020

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