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What do we know about UK household adaptation to climate change? A systematic review

What do we know about UK household adaptation to climate change? A systematic review
What do we know about UK household adaptation to climate change? A systematic review
The UK Government’s first National Adaptation Programme seeks to create a ‘climate-ready society’ capable of making well-informed and far-sighted decisions to address risks and opportunities posed by a changing climate, where individual households are expected to adapt when it is in their interest to do so. How, and to what extent, households are able to do this remains unclear. Like other developed countries, research on UK adaptation has focused predominately on public and private organisations. To fill that gap, a systematic literature review was conducted to understand what actions UK households have taken in response to, or in anticipation of, a changing climate; what drives or impedes these actions; and whether households will act autonomously. We found that UK households struggle to build long-term adaptive capacity and are reliant upon traditional reactive coping responses. Of concern is that these coping responses are less effective for some climate risks (e.g. flooding); cost more over the long-term; and fail to create household capacity to adapt to other stresses. While low-cost, low-skill coping responses were already being implemented, the adoption of more permanent physical measures, behavioural changes, and acceptance of new responsibilities are unlikely to happen autonomously without further financial or government support. If public policy on household adaptation to climate change is to be better informed than more high-quality empirical research is urgently needed.
371-379
Porter, James
0166d571-a4cf-4f2b-9635-533b99ea002f
Dessai, Suraje
8fbd468c-bc39-44d7-81d4-1509ba8d30ad
Tompkins, Emma L.
a6116704-7140-4e37-bea1-2cbf39b138c3
Porter, James
0166d571-a4cf-4f2b-9635-533b99ea002f
Dessai, Suraje
8fbd468c-bc39-44d7-81d4-1509ba8d30ad
Tompkins, Emma L.
a6116704-7140-4e37-bea1-2cbf39b138c3

Porter, James, Dessai, Suraje and Tompkins, Emma L. (2014) What do we know about UK household adaptation to climate change? A systematic review. Climatic Change, 127 (2), 371-379. (doi:10.1007/s10584-014-1252-7).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The UK Government’s first National Adaptation Programme seeks to create a ‘climate-ready society’ capable of making well-informed and far-sighted decisions to address risks and opportunities posed by a changing climate, where individual households are expected to adapt when it is in their interest to do so. How, and to what extent, households are able to do this remains unclear. Like other developed countries, research on UK adaptation has focused predominately on public and private organisations. To fill that gap, a systematic literature review was conducted to understand what actions UK households have taken in response to, or in anticipation of, a changing climate; what drives or impedes these actions; and whether households will act autonomously. We found that UK households struggle to build long-term adaptive capacity and are reliant upon traditional reactive coping responses. Of concern is that these coping responses are less effective for some climate risks (e.g. flooding); cost more over the long-term; and fail to create household capacity to adapt to other stresses. While low-cost, low-skill coping responses were already being implemented, the adoption of more permanent physical measures, behavioural changes, and acceptance of new responsibilities are unlikely to happen autonomously without further financial or government support. If public policy on household adaptation to climate change is to be better informed than more high-quality empirical research is urgently needed.

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Accepted/In Press date: 5 September 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 18 September 2014
Published date: November 2014
Organisations: Global Env Change & Earth Observation

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 369488
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/369488
PURE UUID: 4269e8d2-9729-49ef-ac93-fe822aad928b
ORCID for Emma L. Tompkins: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4825-9797

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Date deposited: 30 Sep 2014 10:32
Last modified: 28 Oct 2023 02:04

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Author: James Porter
Author: Suraje Dessai

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