News > UK to shift focus on approach to climate change
In her first speech on the subject of climate change, Caroline Spelman will signal a change of focus on how the UK government will approach the issue. The new Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is expected to say that while it is vital to continue the downward pressure on carbon emissions, some level of climate change is inevitable and the government must take action to deal with this. Building hospitals and fire stations on hills to escape flooding and allowing certain tracts of land to be reclaimed by the sea, are among measures suggested. According to government figures, one third of British businesses have been significantly affected by extreme weather in the past three years such as flooding or drought, but less than one quarter have done anything to protect themselves.
However, the ministry admits there is no new money for adaptation programmes, and the responsibility for many of the proposed courses of action will be laid at the door of individuals, organisations and private businesses. This is a significant change from the policy of the previous government, which believed that the issue was so big it could only be tackled on a governmental level, with action on reducing emissions being central to the process. As with all things climate related, the speech will no doubt start an intense and sometimes heated debate.