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Government resilience: extreme weather


Of the 89 risks on the Government’s National Risk Register, eight are extreme weather events, defined as those that are significantly different from the average or usual weather pattern. Government does have mechanisms in place to manage these risks, but a National Audit Office (NAO) report into government resilience in this area has found these could be strengthened.

In January 2023, the Cabinet Office wrote to the Committee announcing the publication of its UK Government Resilience Framework, designed to improve the management civil contingency risks. Recent events, including multiple severe storms, high temperatures, and droughts, highlight the challenges faced by the UK from these risks, while the pandemic underlines the need to improve resilience against future emergencies.

Based on the NAO report, the Committee will take evidence from senior officials from the Cabinet Office and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on subjects including:

  • Does the UK Government have a clear vision and well-defined roles and responsibilities to manage national risks, such as extreme weather events, and the generic capabilities to deal with emergencies;
  • What are the risks from extreme weather events;
  • What is the Government’s understanding of risks and any gaps in its knowledge;
  • How the UK Government can develop resilience;
  • What is the appropriate pace and scale of adaptation required to fully prepare the UK for climate risks.

The Committee’s inquiry will look at central government management of risks rather than local response plans. The inquiry does not cover arrangements in the devolved nations.

If you have evidence on these issues, please submit it here by 23:59 on Wednesday 7 February 2024.

Please look at the requirements for written evidence submissions and note that the Committee cannot accept material as evidence that is published elsewhere.