2021 has been a turbulent time, both in terms of the pandemic and the worsening climate crisis. Abnormal weather patterns, including tropical heatwaves in March and flash floods in June have forced the UK to acknowledge the severity of climate change.
Unfortunately, much of the harm done to the environment over the years can’t be rectified. But we can try to prevent any further damage, with the hope of preserving as much of the current environment as possible.
So, is the climate crisis intensifying in the UK? And what measures should we put in place to limit further harm to the environment?
A reactive climate
Spring 2020 was the UK’s sunniest ever recorded, and hotter than some recent summers. 2020 was also recorded as the third warmest, fifth wettest, and eighth sunniest on record.
Torrential rain led to flash floods in the UK, at several points in the year. Such weather abnormalities can be destructive and sometimes fatal in those countries which are unprepared. In August 2021, several London train stations, hospitals and homes were flooded. This resulted in over 1,000 emergency calls, as well as time and resources spent on repairing a significant amount of damage around the city.
The UK government is required to conduct a Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) every five years. The most significant finding from this year’s assessment was the widening gap between the risks posed by climate change and our adaptable infrastructure, which has failed to keep pace.
High priority areas for infrastructure adaptation over the next few years include:
- Power systems
- Supply chains
- Livestock and crops
- Freshwater habitats
Stemming the tide
For as long as we continue to carry out activities that are harmful to the environment, we can expect increasingly regular weather disturbances to occur. And with successive governments and evolving policies, climate change has been pushed further down the agenda.
By improving airflow, ventilation, sustainable drainage systems and water harvesting, the government could save significantly on time, money, and resources.
As net zero targets grow closer, the UK must focus on future-proofing to withstand the predicted high-impact weather. Some plans are already in place, but there should also be a stronger focus on risk assessment and adaptation. In 2020, the government announced that they would invest £5.2 billion in flood defence infrastructures around the country.
Globally, land temperatures are now around 1.2 degrees hotter, compared to pre-industrial reports. Governments from around the world will meet in Glasgow later this year for the COP26 UN Climate Summit. Here they will discuss what sustainable measures they can put in place to prevent this record from peaking any higher.
What is Monarch doing to help?
These are dire times, but we now have the resources to stem the tide and slow the pace of global warming. What we need is a massive, collaborative effort towards decarbonisation and adaptable sustainability. Monarch can help organisations achieve this through our intelligent procurement and sustainable energy management.
At Monarch, we understand the importance of sustainability. With our broad range of services, we can advise you on the best options for your business.
Get in touch to learn more about how we can help you start your journey towards sustainability.