National Trust calls for legislation to drive climate adaptation

The National Trust is urging the government to introduce legislation to drive adaptation in the midst of risks posed by climate change.

In a new report published today (20 November 2023), the trust calls for a ‘Climate Resilience Act’ with legal plans and targets for adaptation and a “new dedicated minister”.

The report predicts that over 70% of National Trust landmarks will be at medium or high risk of climate related hazards by 2060.

“We’re calling on the government to introduce new legislation that recognises the importance of adapting buildings, coastlines and countryside to cope with the impacts of climate change,” the National Trust wrote.

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“This proposed legislation will ensure adaptation is on an equal footing with climate change mitigation and the pathway to net zero,” it added.

The report sets out actions the heritage conservation body has carried out to protect its sites across coastal change and visitor operations.

For example, high levels of rainfall and drought are threatening the structure of Blickling Estate in Norfolk. The National Trust is currently researching ways to design and function of the estate’s historic drainage systems, and the creation of a new drain, linking to two 8,000-litre storage tanks, has reduced flooding.

The gutters, hoppers, stumps, valleys and downpipes are also being redesigned to better manage more intense rainfall and we’re inspecting and repairing damaged roofs.

Climate crisisNature and the environmentNewsPolicy

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