EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Organisational preparedness for the physical risks of climate change in the UK

Denyse S. Dookie1, Declan Conway1, and Suraje Dessai2
Denyse S. Dookie et al.
  • 1Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom of Great Britain – England, Scotland, Wales
  • 2Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom of Great Britain – England, Scotland, Wales

Understanding local perceptions of preparedness, risk and response to climate change is important for effective adaptation-focused actions and policy design. While there have been national surveys of the public’s concern, organisational perspectives are less studied. This research presents findings of a national survey of UK-based organisations’ perceptions about adapting to a changing climate. The survey covers awareness among organisations of climate change, its physical risks and how organisations are taking action to prepare for perceived risks. Administered in spring 2021, our survey summarises the insights of 2,400 respondents in roles related to organisational planning. The majority of respondents (69%) were from the private sector, while others came from public health authorities, local authorities, public educational establishments, and third sector or charitable organisations. 58% of respondents identified the effects of climate change as a concern. While the survey results support a picture of UK organisations taking steps to prepare for similar extreme weather events in the future, action is strongly informed by dealing with the effects of extremes already experienced. There is a much lower proportion of organisations taking measures to deal with the physical risks of future climate change. In terms of future action, organisations perceived a strong role for leadership from government and collective responsibilities for adaptation, signalling a need to recognise this in efforts to promote adaptation. These findings, though UK-centric, provide insight to societal responses, options and pathways, especially at the organisational level for the less widely studied private sector, as noted in IPCC AR6 WGII Chapter 13: Europe. 

How to cite: Dookie, D. S., Conway, D., and Dessai, S.: Organisational preparedness for the physical risks of climate change in the UK, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-851,, 2023.