That Flashing Red Light - Failure to Adapt.
Take it from the Brits - mitigation without adaptation is ruinous.
As governments pretend to be behind the effort to slash greenhouse gas emissions, they're doing next to bugger all about the shorter term imperative, adaptation. Cutting emissions is vital but if we're to come through on those solemn promises we have to defend what we have.
Britain should be our poster boy.Over the past few days the country has been thrown into panic, as soaring gas prices threaten to plunge hundreds of thousands more households into fuel poverty, joining the 2.5 million already there. For others, uncomfortably tight budgets will be further squeezed. Any country reliant on the worldwide gas market faces the risk of perennial price shocks.
The UK is a difficult country to keep warm. It has some of the oldest and leakiest housing stock in western Europe, ensuring that heat dissipates through walls, windows and doors quickly after leaving radiators. Nine in 10 households rely on gas boilers, and lots of gas boilers need lots of gas: UK households consume more of it than almost all of their European peers, at around twice the EU average. In 2000, when North Sea gas accounted for 98% of overall supply, households were at little risk of price shocks. But as national production has tumbled by two-thirds in the two decades since, imports have risen from just 2% to 60% of supply to fill the gap.
Gas burned in households now equates to half of all imports – that is why any spike in gas prices immediately translates into higher heating bills. ...Using cheap gas to compensate for poor housing stock only works as long as gas is cheap – and as long as you don’t have a climate crisis spinning out of control.
This must be the last winter fuel crisis we ever face, and our homes must be future-proofed without delay.
At the current rate it will take the UK around 700 years to move to low-carbon heating. The government’s legally enshrined climate commitments require us to be halfway there by the mid 2030s.