The Committee was commenting on the Government’s response to its report – Heatwaves: adapting to climate change – published in July warning that there will be 7,000 heat-related deaths every year in the UK by 2050 if the Government does not act.
The ECA report called for a range of measures to protect people, including:
- updating the forthcoming revised National Policy Planning Framework to require Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in all new developments
- public information campaigns
- a minister responsible for co-ordinating heatwave response across government
- urban green infrastructure
- adoption of 110 litres per person per day as the mandatory standard in Part G of the building regulations for all new buildings
The Government’s response to the report accepts some of the recommendations. However, the EAC said that ministers have not properly acknowledged many of the conclusions on which the report is based. The Government has resisted the Committee’s call for DEFRA to require local authorities to report on how they are adapting to climate change, on the basis that they already have a number of duties and reporting obligations on a range of climate risks. However, it will consider the recommendation to re-instate the Regional Climate Change Partnerships.
Insufficient evidence to suggest increasing urban green space to 2001 levels would be right focus
Responding to the recommendation that the Government should introduce an urban green infrastructure target as part of the metrics for the 25 Year Environment Plan and in the National Planning Policy Framework, the report says that the Government has committed to encouraging investment in green infrastructure in urban areas.