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Climate Change

Volume 494: debated on Monday 22 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps her Department has taken to adapt to climate change in the last two years. (277640)

All Departments are actively involved in the cross-Government Adapting to Climate Change Programme, which aims to help society adapt to climate change. The role of the programme is to develop and provide a comprehensive evidence base including adaptation tools, to raise awareness of the need to adapt, to measure success and to work across Government at all levels to embed adaptation. Further details about the programme’s work can be found at

www.defra.gov/adaptation.

In April 2007 DWP commissioned the Met Office to undertake an initial, high level review of the potential impacts of climate change on the policies and operations of the Department. This report was delivered in January 2008, and concluded that there were a number of areas—such as increases in hot weather, and extreme weather events—which could impact on DWP services.

A more detailed review building on this report will be commissioned once the 2009 UK Climate Projections have been published by the UK Climate Impacts Programme later this summer. This will then give DWP policy makers and planners greater clarity of the potential impacts of climate change, covering opportunities as well as negative consequences, and allow them to build adaptations fully into future plans.