Aberdeenshire MP urges pan-government approach to climate resilience after Arwen

Andrew Bowie has called for a cross-parliament review into how governments respond to “more regular but more extreme” weather events.

By Morag Kuc
Friday, 21st January 2022, 8:23 am
Andrew Bowie MP
Andrew Bowie MP

During a Scottish Affairs Committee inquiry into Storm Arwen, the Conservative MP asked UK energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng whether a joined-up approach could improve Britain’s “resilience required as a country” to adapt to climate change.

Mr Bowie referenced widespread disruption to energy and telecommunications networks across the UK, following the storm in late November. He also highlighted the extreme weather events which inspectors said contributed to the rail tragedy at Carmont near Stonehaven in August 2020, and the departmental responses to each event.

He said: “We're talking about resilience and the need to adapt how we react to the changing climate and the more extreme weather patterns that we're seeing. Do you think there's a case to be made for a cross-government multi-departmental review into resilience to deal with the situation?”

Mr Kwarteng responded: “One of the first recommendations of the CCC (Committee on Climate Change) was to have a cabinet sub-committee to look at net zero. We implemented that, that kicked off at the beginning of 2020. I've attended all the meetings of that subcommittee.

“So Net Zero has forced us as a government to think much more across the silos of Whitehall. And of course, when we talk about net zero, we talk about energy resilience.”