First published: 05/06/2023 -

Last updated: 21/03/2024 -

Verified by our Editorial Panel

Climate adaptation

Climate change is happening – we’ve already seen its impact in Wales with climate events such as drought and floods and globally through an increase in wildfires. We need to take direct action now to create greater resilience to climate change within our homes, communities and local environment, and to make sure we are well prepared for the effects we'll continue to see in the future. 

What can we do?

Reducing harmful carbon emissions will help us avoid the worst effects of climate change – but we also need to adapt to the impacts we are already experiencing. 

Governments play a vital role by setting national policies that drive climate adaptation, such as embedding greater resilience into building standards, water resource management, and nature-based solutions for managing flood risks. Find out more about ways that nature can defend us from the impact of climate change. 

But we can all play a part. So, what can we do? 

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Planting trees

Trees in streets and parks help to cool down urban areas in summer and provide shade for people and buildings. They also reduce the pressure on drainage systems by absorbing water that would otherwise run off the large areas of hard surfaces we have in our towns, cities and villages. Read more on sustainable drainage systems. 

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Saving water

Water companies need to be prepared to deal with water shortages, but we can also think about our water use to make sure everyone has enough during a heatwave or drought. There are simple ways we can save water in our homes, such as trying a water meter and taking shorter showers. Saving water also saves energy, as it means less purification, pumping and processing is needed. 

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Soil health

Healthy soil can absorb water, protecting us against drought and floods. With our soils eroding and depleting, we can all help to restore soil health by enriching our gardens with home-made compost. Find out more ways to protect soil at home.

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Maintenance matters

Keeping buildings in a good state of repair is the first step to making them more resilient to the changing climate. We have already seen the major impacts flooding and coastal erosion have had on homes across Wales and there are likely to be longer-term, less direct impacts we can't yet predict. Maintenance is the first step towards climate resilience and energy efficiency. Read more at Maintenance Matters! | Cadw ( and see for support services available.

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Protection from heat

We also need to put measures in place to protect ourselves from higher temperatures and the risk of heat stress, and ensure we are looking out for older and more vulnerable people. There are lots of simple things we can do to protect ourselves from the effects of too much heat and sun. See Public Health Wales for more information on how to stay out of the heat, cool down, and keep your environment at a comfortable temperature.

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Protection from flooding

Climate change (leading to more intense rainfall and a rise in sea levels) and human changes to the environment, e.g. from urbanisation leading to an increase in water run-off volume and rate, means the number of people and homes exposed to flood events will continue to rise. We all need to be prepared to protect ourselves, our homes and communities from flood risk. Find information on how to prepare your home for a flood and what to do during and after an event at Natural Resources Wales.

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Prevention and protection from wildfires

Lower rainfall and drought, hotter temperatures and wind all make the perfect recipe for a wildfire. Climate change is leading to more frequent, widespread and intense wildfires in the UK. Layers of dead bracken on Welsh hillsides also act as fuel for wildfires. Read tips on how we can help to prevent wildfires, and what to do during and after a wildfire on the British Red Cross website.

Why take action?

To adapt to climate change and reduce the risks it presents to our lives, we need to build greater resilience to its impact on our health, homes and communities. This means putting in place measures to protect against extreme weather including flooding, drought, high temperatures and fires, rising sea levels and high river flows, erosion and increased number of pests. The impact of these include:

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Extreme weather could affect our soil, crops and livestock, which could impact what and how we grow and produce in Wales

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Transport could be affected by flooding and other extreme weather, with disruption, loss of service or uncomfortably high temperatures on public transport

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There’s a risk to businesses and buildings from high river flows, erosion and extreme weather. Buildings may also become too warm from higher temperatures, risking people’s health and wellbeing

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Drought presents a risk to water supplies, and higher temperatures can cause stored water to evaporate faster. Drought also increases the risk of wildfires.

Community wildlife project

This funded wildlife project transformed abandoned land in Aberdare and brought the community together.

Find out more

What is Wales doing?

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The Welsh Government, alongside other public service bodies such as Natural Resources Wales, are taking action to adapt to the impact of climate change. This will lessen the threats climate change poses, particularly to our more vulnerable communities. The public sector is also working with communities to help them become more resilient to the risks of climate change. To learn more, see the Welsh Government’s current Climate Adaptation Plan: A Climate Conscious Wales and the CCC’s latest Climate Risk Independent Assessment

Projects in progress include: 

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