NRW statement on the IPCC’s Climate Change Report

 Clare Pillman, Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales said: 

“The IPCC’s latest report serves as a stark warning of the true scale of the climate change impacts we’re seeing on a global scale and the need to adapt urgently now to the accelerating climate shocks ahead.  

“Over the past few years, month and weeks, the impacts of climate change on our own doorsteps have become more pronounced. Large swathes of Wales and the UK have endured record-breaking floods and storms, and hearts and minds are rightly focused on protecting people and property. 

“But as today’s report sets out,  it is clear that increasing resilience to extreme weather patterns is not keeping pace with the rising risk. From flooding, to droughts to wildfires, we know that the world faces real danger if we are not prepared for these events when they strike. 

“The hard truth is that there is no silver bullet. Given the challenges posed by the climate and nature emergencies and the inevitability of extreme weather, we have to use all the tools and levers at our disposal. 

“This means taking bold action now. When it comes to reducing flood risk, we need to take an ever more diversified approach of interventions, including employing more nature based solutions to retain more water upstream, to slow it down, or to store it on floodplains where appropriate. We need to stop making the problem worse by developing on flood plains, and we need to build homes that are much more resilient to flooding.  We also need to ensure people know the steps they can take themselves to reduce the impact of flooding when the waters start to rise. 

“We also need to put our ambitions for nature recovery on the same footing as those for climate change. Protecting and increasing biodiversity can provide important solutions to climate change and help achieve environmental improvements for the benefit of current and future generations. 

“Governments and society need to recognise the importance and urgency of taking a holistic approach to resilience and increase the nation’s level of preparedness to manage the growing risks precipitated by the climate emergency. The central focus given to climate change in the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government, and the emphasis placed on mitigating future flood risk in the Co-operation Agreement between Labour and Plaid Cymru are all welcome strides forward.  

“But the time to act is now. We simply have to take heed of the scientific evidence and take immediate and sustained action to prepare for current and future impacts – and the IPCC’s report lay them out in no uncertain terms.” 

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