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Call for Evidence

Critical National Infrastructure and Climate Adaptation

The Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy (JCNSS) welcomes written evidence for its new inquiry into critical national infrastructure (CNI) and climate adaptation. This inquiry is considering the resilience of UK CNI to the effects of climate change, which is predicted to result in an increase in extreme weather events such as flooding, droughts, wildfires and heatwaves, as well as rising sea levels. UK CNI incorporates 13 sectors: Chemicals, Civil Nuclear, Communications, Defence, Emergency Services, Energy, Finance, Food, Government, Health, Space, Transport and Water. The Committee is considering CNI resilience to climate change in the short, medium and long term (two years, five years and 20+ years, respectively).

Evidence is invited on the following topics by 31 May 2022:

  • Key vulnerabilities and levels of preparedness of UK CNI to extreme weather events and other effects of climate change, including:
    • The possible compound effects of such events;
    • The interdependencies between different aspects of UK CNI;
    • Supply chain vulnerabilities; and
    • Recent ‘near miss’ scenarios;
  • What might constitute an ‘acceptable’ level of resilience to climate change within UK CNI, both to near-term risks and longer-term uncertainties or ‘tipping points’, and the obstacles to achieving it;
  • The effectiveness of Government policy, legislation and implementation frameworks for managing national security risks arising from climate change, including those emerging within the private sector;
  • Allocation of roles and responsibilities at the national, devolved and local level, and the connections between them;
  • The role of the Government’s forthcoming National Resilience Strategy, particularly in addressing opportunities for (and obstacles to) improved resilience among CNI providers;
  • The extent and effectiveness of UK-wide monitoring and early warning systems; and
  • The opportunities presented by technological solutions (such as AI and digital twins) for anticipating and managing the implications of climate change for CNI.

Submissions may address any one of these issues, and do not need to cover the entire remit of the Committee’s inquiry.

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