The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) is working in partnership with a consortium of internationally renowned universities and research institutes to deliver a £5m research programme as the UK Government steps up efforts to prepare and protect against the impacts of climate change.
The data and analysis carried out by specialists from Ricardo, the programme leaders, and its partners will inform the UK’s strategy to mitigate the effects from soaring temperatures in our homes, to resilience of UK critical energy infrastructure and enhance ambition to curb emissions and adapt to climate change globally.
Today’s announcement forms a key step in the Government’s commitment to limit global warming to within 1.5 degrees, prepare for climate impacts and reach net zero emissions by the middle of this century.
The four-year programme, Climate Services for a Net Zero Resilient World (CS-N0W), will produce transformative advice, digital data and tools, providing critical evidence and expertise to inform the government’s action plan for delivering a thriving, low-carbon, greener future.
Dr Gwyn Rees of the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), one of the programme’s four research directors, says: “This is an exciting and vitally important initiative that will help the UK achieve its net zero ambitions. UKCEH will be playing a prominent role in the programme, including assessing whether future water supplies will support the implementation of clean energy technologies.”
Gill Wilkins, Ricardo’s CS-N0W Programme Director, said: “I am delighted to direct this ground-breaking research programme that will provide evidence to underpin UK climate change policy and raise ambition internationally. With our consortium partners, we will carry out research and analysis to better understand the impacts of climate change and how to maximise efforts to respond to the challenges faced. We will be visualising data to make it more accessible, transparent and user friendly to help regional and national authorities understand and respond to impacts.”
The research will enable the Government to engage with local authorities on local climate action plans, as well as to develop international climate strategies for global decarbonisation.
UK Climate and Energy Minister and International Adaption and Resilience COP26 Champion, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said: “From soaring temperatures in our homes, to flooding in our streets, climate change poses a threat to both our way of life and the safety of our nation. The climate decisions taken by the government now, and over these crucial next few years, are therefore of vital importance to protect our homes, our wellbeing, and our country’s future. The CS-N0W programme will be essential in informing these decisions, providing the right tools and most up-to-date information needed to ensure the best possible choices are made for the UK to achieve our net zero emissions targets, become more climate-resilient, and build back greener.”
Ricardo is partnering with University College London; Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research; and institutes supported by the Natural Environment Research Council, including the National Oceanography Centre, British Antarctic Survey, British Geological Survey, National Centre for Atmospheric Science, National Centre for Earth Observation, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.
The consortium will provide world-class scientific and research leadership, with a deep understanding of the state of scientific knowledge of climate change and how to advance it, as well as the steps required to bridge science and facilitate evidence-based policy-making.
Tim Curtis, Ricardo Managing Director, said: “With COP26 happening in the UK this year, it brings the need for constructive policies to drive the country’s journey to net zero into very clear focus. Effective climate action is critical and this programme will go a long way to shaping the changes that need to happen. We will be working as the science-policy interface, translating research results for policy-makers to drive action nationally and to influence international climate change policy.”