The UK is ‘acutely vulnerable’ to the impacts of climate change, according to a report published today (June 24) by think tank IPPR.
Following a year-long investigation into environmental breakdown, IPPR has said that the accelerating process of environmental breakdown will leave no area of human society untouched, with potentially global consequences for financial instability, food crises and conflict.
The researchers have argued that the coronavirus pandemic should remind policymakers of the risks of inherent destruction of nature and the fragility of humanity to such external threats.
The report states that nothing less than the overall transformation of society and the economy is required in order to bring human activity within sustainable limits.
The authors are calling for an overhaul of policymaking, and key to this is the establishment of a Royal Commission on Preparations for Environmental Breakdown. The report outlines that the commission should assess the UK’s preparedness for the climate crisis, from its supply chains to resource management.
Laurie Laybourn-Langton, IPPR associate fellow, said:’It’s becoming increasingly clear that the UK was not adequately prepared for the coronavirus pandemic.
‘The threats posed by the environmental crisis could also emerge quickly and could overwhelm our capacity to respond. So the pandemic gives us a window into a future increasingly beset by the consequences of environmental breakdown.
‘In the UK, we are not ready for this future – far from it. But all is not lost. We can be better prepared for environmental breakdown. And the changes we need to make to our society and economy are exactly those that can also make a happier, healthier and fairer world.’
Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Muna Suleiman commented on the report: ‘This is yet another stark warning of the UK government’s continuing failure to address the looming threat of runaway climate breakdown.
‘The planet and its people should be at the very heart of our economic recuperation from coronavirus This is why the Chancellor must make a fair and green recovery the centrepiece of his stimulus package announcement next month.
‘We must build back better – and that means greener and more equal.’
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