London in the National Climate Change Adaptation Plan

1 July 2013: The Department for the Environment have today released  ‘The National Adaptation Programme: Making the country resilient to a changing climate’ which makes a number of interesting references to work being undertaken in the capital responding to future threats that may arise due to climate change. These include:

  • The London Heat Thresholds Project [p27] – further details here
  • Transport for plans to carry out an extensive flood risk review for the London Underground network [p40]
  • The  GLA and London Climate Change Partnership is undertaking a scoping study to understand the adaptation economy in London to meet future local, national and international demand. [p87]
  • The ‘adaptation and resilience’ sub-sector (which also includes activities not specifically addressing climate change) generated £12 billion in the UK in 2011/12.In the same period this sub-sector generated sales of £2.5 billion in 2011-12 in London. In the same period, the climate change element of this sub-sector in London had a turnover of £431 million and employed nearly 4,000 people, demonstrating the potential for growth. [p87]
  • Details of a National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Cities Commitment to be taken forward by the Core Cities group along with London Councils and the Greater London Authority [p 102-104]

An accompanying paper also published today by Defra –  ‘Economics of the national adaptation programme‘  – estimates the growth of energy use in London as a result of increased demand for cooling services.

  • Climate change could lead to increased uptake and use of air cooling systems in buildings.
    • If the uptake of air conditioning systems continues at today’s rate by 2050, so that around 1% of households in those areas have cooling (compared with 0.6% in 2010), energy demand for cooling could triple between 2010 and 2050 in London.
    • If in 2050 half of the households in London had air conditioning, energy demand for cooling could be around 37 times higher in 2050 compared to no climate change and current air conditioning take-up trends. [p14]

The Mayor’s London Climate Change Adaptation Plan was published in 2011 and can be viewed here. See an earlier post on challenges faced by London as a result of potential increasing future temperatures.

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