In March 2021, Sciencewise convened climate experts to discuss key challenges in climate adaptation and the potential for public engagement to address those challenges. In June 2021, the Climate Change Committee reported that the government was not managing climate risks effectively, and that the country was less prepared for the risks presented by climate change than it was in 2017. The Committee recommended that the UK government undertakes public engagement to help prioritise risk and courses of action, to consider how to address inequalities, and to identify responsibilities across society.
In response to this, Defra embarked on a public dialogue to understand public perceptions and attitudes towards climate adaptation within England. The dialogue explored the public’s perspectives of climate adaptation and how they think the government, businesses and civil society should address it. Findings informed the development of the third National Adaptation Programme, which was launched on 17th July 2023. This National Adaptation Programme sets out the actions that the UK government will take to prepare the country for climate change in 2023-28. 120 participants were recruited to take part in the workshops and represented a cross-section of the population of England. The workshops took place online in 2022 with participants from various locations across England.
The public dialogue was overseen by Defra in partnership with UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI’s) Sciencewise Programme. The project was delivered by Ipsos and University of Leeds and evaluated by Ursus Consulting.
Read the press release here