Reasons behind our record-breaking heatwave

How climate change is affecting seasons

For the first time in history we have seen the UK reach temperatures of 40 degrees celsius in the recent heatwave.

It has also brought into stark perspective how Surrey and the wider UK, are not used to dealing with persistent high summer temperatures.

The current climate change forecasts are telling us that heatwaves like those we are currently experiencing are only going to become more frequent in the future, with temperatures of around 37 degrees celsius being regularly seen by 2050.

It's not just heatwaves we need to redesign for, but we can expect more floods from heavy rain, higher average temperatures across all seasons, droughts and fires as an increasing possibility. As a society, we are learning how to adapt our daily lives, communities, buildings, infrastructure, and environment to the new normal.

To tackle climate change we have committed to:

  • Be a net zero authority by 2030
  • Build low carbon infrastructure in the county including installing more electric vehicle charging points
  • Manage and look after our green spaces including planting 1.2 million trees and other vegetation by 2030
  • Help residents and businesses reduce their carbon footprint
  • Install better drainage systems to help tackle flooding.

We are currently working with district and borough councils to understand the scale of the impacts we will face, and are using this information to develop a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan which will be published in 2023. It will set out the longer term changes that are needed to ensure we have a well adapted and resilient future, including when and how is best to make these needed changes.

In the meantime, we're working with partners to continue to deal with severe weather events and take action to protect our vulnerable communities and infrastructure.

What can you do to help tackle climate change in Surrey?

We can all play our part to protect the future of our county for generations to come by making some small changes. You can find out how you can play your part to live a greener and healthier life by visiting our Climate Change web page.

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