Climate change adaptation and resilience

The Surrey Climate Change Strategy (2020) identified the need to develop actions to increase Surrey's resilience to Climate Change. Even if net zero targets are met, Surrey will need to adapt to significant changes in our climate that are already impacting on our infrastructure, services, communities and ecosystems.

This strategy, 'Surrey Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Strategy (Surrey Adapt)', was developed in partnership, and helps Surrey County Council and its partners to manage climate impacts and risks in a more efficient and coordinated manner.

The Strategy delivers on the council's priority of enabling a greener future, but will also contribute towards a safer, more secure and resilient county under changing climatic conditions across multiple sectors and services.

Climate change adaptation

Climate change adaptation is about responding to the climate impacts and risks that we are already facing and that will amplify in coming years. These impacts go well beyond the capacity of reactive emergency management alone and require long term resilience in all that we do.

The past few decades have brought increasing climate risks and extreme weather events to Surrey, with impacts felt most strongly by the most vulnerable. This includes one of the most severe heatwaves reaching over 40ºC for the first time ever, along with record-breaking fire seasons as well as simultaneously contending with regular flood events.

A strong well-coordinated response by Surrey County Council and partners (as presented by this strategy) is essential to maximise Surrey's chances of accessing the additional investment needed in our infrastructure, transport, and flood risk management. In addition, well-designed adaptation responses have multiple benefits for nature, communities, health and wellbeing as well as reducing the need for disaster response and mitigating higher insurance premiums into the future.

The Strategy helps us achieve the community Vision for Surrey 2030 by addressing a key corporate risk to all our services.

About the Strategy

The Strategy sets out a vison and 9 priority programmes that will support our ability to manage the climate risks that we are already facing.

A Surrey adapted to a changed climate – resilient and prepared across communities, ecosystem, infrastructure and the economy.

The vision of the Strategy

The 9 priority programmes are set out below, alongside an additional cross cutting programme.

  1. Climate Resilient Organisations
  2. Partnerships for Resilience
  3. Climate Resilient Biodiversity and Natural Resources
  4. Climate Resilient land use, Agriculture and Food System
  5. Climate Resilient and Healthy Communities
  6. Climate Resilient Buildings and Planning
  7. Climate Resilient Transport, Energy and Infrastructure
  8. Climate Resilient Water Resources
  9. Climate Resilient Economy

The Strategy, produced in collaboration with key partner organisations presents a 'direction' for both Surrey and Surrey County Council.

A more detailed action plan will be developed in the next 6 months, with in-depth plans per directorate over the next 18 months (taking us into early 2025) being developed as more is known about our risks and issues and the most appropriate ways of responding.

For further information about the strategy please contact

In this section

Subscribe to our newsletters for latest news and events.