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13 Feb 2009 05:02:02

Countries should adapt to climate change as well as mitigate



Countries should adapt to climate change as well as mitigate
As well as working to mitigate climate change, governments around the world should be working to adapt to some of its impacts, according to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (ImechE).

The organisation predicts that the UK will be subject to severe flooding as it doubts whether post-Kyoto arrangements to reduce carbon emissions will have the success required to avoid rising global temperatures.

Its report, Climate Change: Adapting to the Inevitable, calls on governments to invest in protecting people, businesses and infrastructure from the impact of climate change.

Dr Tim Fox, head of environment and climate change at the IMechE, said: "Yes, we need to mitigate – but the evidence shows this isn't working alone."

He added: "The UK has the engineering innovation and skill to shape our future with policymakers and protect our citizens and assets from future damage. We do not believe this is currently happening at the level it needs to, but by researching and developing adaptation strategies we have a chance to cope with what is around the corner."

Among the suggestions is decentralising energy production via "intelligent local networks" at the same time as setting up an "internationally interconnected electricity grid to balance supply and demand differences".

The institution also recommends taking flooding into account the when considering sites for future power plants.

Water recycling will become more important as the supply of rainwater becomes more variable and the UK is exposed to droughts as well as floods.

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