The vision for the UK Climate Resilience Champion role is to build a transdisciplinary community of practice that includes researchers, practitioners and policy-makers, capable of delivering impactful frontier research on climate risk and adaptation solutions, to make the UK resilient to climate variability and change. There is an urgent need to accelerate adaptation and build resilience to climate variability and change. Informing the extensive preparations needed to manage climate risks, avoid damages without exacerbating existing inequalities, and realise emerging opportunities, is a grand challenge for climate change science.
To support the wide range of necessary adjustments across the country and sectors, it is crucial to co-develop a comprehensive and integrated programme of research and impact that includes natural science, social science, engineering, the arts and humanities. To build resilience, research needs to be informed and shaped by the diverse range of stakeholder interests and needs across the natural and built environment, infrastructure, business and industry, national, devolved and local government.
The UK research base in this area is world-leading but fragmented. The Met Office and UKRI-funded climate scientists have been at the forefront of climate science and the early development of climate services, exemplified by the recently released UK Climate Projections 2018 (UKCP18). Engineering and other sciences have translated climate hazard knowledge into impact and risk metrics, e.g., in infrastructure and urban adaptation, creating the world's first national infrastructure system-of-systems model. World-class social science research has focused e.g., on barriers to adaptation, risk perception and communication, and the science-policy interface. The arts and humanities have achieved world-leading contributions in the philosophy of climate science, history and culture of climate resilience and artistic initiatives focusing on change and loss.
The UK Climate Resilience programme will draw together fragmented climate research and expertise to deliver robust, multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary research on climate risk and adaptation to ensure the UK is resilient to climate variability and change and powerfully positioned to exploit the opportunities of adaptation and green growth.
In order to achieve this, the UK Climate Resilience Champion will:
- Develop and nurture a UK climate resilience community of practice that includes researchers (from Met Office and academia), practitioners (e.g., consultants, climate risk managers in organisations) and policy-makers (across different levels of government).
- Identify principles to guide prioritisation for the research programme e.g.: maximising the number of users benefiting from the research; maximising the number of disciplines involved; ensuring UKRI and Met Office components of the programme are aligned.
- Develop a coherent transdisciplinary research programme with the community of practice ensuring alignment across the portfolio of research and linking with international efforts (e.g., Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Future Earth, Paris Agreement global stocktake, etc.).
- Raise the profile of the programme amongst researchers, practitioners and policy-makers to consolidate the development of a UK climate resilience community of practice.
- Nurture a new generation of adaptation scientists and practitioners capable of responding to user-driven research questions through interdisciplinary research with real-world impact and applications.
- Promote knowledge exchange across the programme and amongst the wider community.