The Drivers and Barriers of household adaptation to climate change A case study in the UK

Every human activity has a significant influence on the environment indirectly or directly. Increasing urbanization and the population are some of the most significant actions that impact the environment. Over the years, climate change has been one of the most significant challenges due to considerable stress in the background and society. From the shifting weather conditions and patters to the rise in sea level that have increased the flooding risks, the effects of climate change are unprecedented in scale. Without adaptations that will drive to drastic actions against climate change, the future will be costly and more difficult as compared to today (Bichard and Kazmierczak, 2012). Perhaps due to a lack of proper adaptations, a lot of people are at risk with both indirect and direct impacts of climate change. Studies have shown that a third of the world’s population is at threat of heatwaves and sea level risks, floods, and storms such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Indonesia, and India. There is a need for proper and effective flood management as well as services and infrastructures that will reduce climate change-related disasters.

The motivation of this ResearchResearch

Flooding in the UK has been perceived as one of the causative natural catastrophes that have been generated by human actions and hinder the sustainability and protection of built environments. The UK Government has adopted national programs that seek to develop a climate prepared society and skillful of making far-sighted and well knowledgeable decisions to solve the risks postured by climate alteration. However, individual families are anticipated to adjust to the changes. The extent and how the households will adapt to the changes is still unclear. Therefore, this paper focuses on the barriers and drivers of distinct household’s adjustment to climate change through behavioral changes, physical measures, and acceptances to new responsibilities for a long term adaptive capacity.

Research Aims and Objectives

The ResearchResearch aims to understand the extent to which the families can adjust to changes that address the dangers brought by climate change. The ResearchResearch will offer essential information on how UK households anticipate flooding and the actions in responses to flowing as well as what impedes or drives their actions or coping responses. The objectives of this ResearchResearch are:

-To understand the barriers of households’ adjustment to climate variation.

-To Understand the drivers of households’ adaptation to climate variation.

-To determine the actions that families can become accustomed to reduce risks of climate variation.

Research Questions.

-What are the barriers to households’ adaptation to climate variation?

-What are the drivers of households’ adaptation to climate variation?

-What actions can households adapt to reduce risks of climate variation?



Literature review

Flooding is a climate change natural disaster that occurs as a result of human activities, which constitute a threat to human life, loss of built environment, and property (Porter et al., 2014). Even though such risks cannot be eliminated, the adaptation to climate alteration can be enhanced to lower the vulnerability of extreme climate variations and sustain or protect the built environment. According to IPCC (2007), climate variation is any change in climate over a period as an effect of human action or natural inconsistency. The difference in environment is attributed indirectly or directly by social activity that disrupts the conformation of the atmosphere as well as the natural climate variation over time. Climate change adaptation enables communities, individuals, and organizations to deal with the changes and costs of climate variation. This involves the practical actions that are essential in managing climate risks, to strengthen the economy and protect the communities. According to IPCC (2007), adaptation is the change in human and natural schemes in responses to the probable or definite climatic impacts, which reduces exploits or harm. Pielke et al. (2007) stated that in the early policy discussions about climate variation, adaptation was considered as an essential option in society. However, the concept of adaptation to climate variation has become difficult for individuals advocating for discharges. The shared belief has ruined the progress of adjustment that peripheral adaptation is a local issue, whereas and that the modification of climate change requires global coordination (Pielke et al., 2007). Considerably, there is a probability that climate change communication will increase the stress on the importance of adaptation to climate change activities. However, there is little that has been understood on whether this may influence the attitudes towards mitigating climate change. Despite the increased communication on adaptation, previous ResearchResearch has shown that it can have a positive impact through increasing risk salience (Klein et al., 2014). Different climate changes have shaped how people respond to various information about adaptation and mitigation, depending on whether the action is framed on government or individual responsibility. There is a growing perception that adjustment is critical since radical climate changes are reduced through the policies implemented.

According to Murphy et al. (2009), the changes in climate in the UK are unavoidable. This means that the UK needs to be a climate-ready society with the ability to make well informed and transparent decisions that will solve the challenges and opportunities brought about by climate change. According to Tompkins and Eakin (2012), household activities can offer adaptation to public goods such as turning impermeable surfaces and paved gardens where runoff can be lowered. Porter et al., (2012) systematic review found out that three significant drivers influence reactions to climate threats. These include the previous experience, social acceptability pressure, and the long term economic rewards. These affect the actions that are taken by individual households. The barriers to adaptation include the personal experience of flooding and homeownership. Homeownership is whereby the individuals fail to accept that the home is unsafe due to the inability to afford funds to make changes to the building (Kent et al., 2013). Emotional responses also influence individual perception and capacity to act. The role of the state is also unclear to the household individuals in motivating them to adapt to these actions. The articles above have indicated that the barriers and drivers of adaptation to climate change depend on individual perceptions and the challenge of the anticipated effects.


Bichard, E., & Kazmierczak, A. (2012). Are homeowners willing to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change?. Climatic Change112(3-4), 633-654.

IPCC, 2007: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. van der Linden and C.E. Hanson, Eds., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 7-22. Section D. Current knowledge about responding to climate change, pages 19-20.

Kent, N., Porter, J., Dessai, S., Miller, K., Winne, S., Sibile, R., … & Ballard, D. (2013). PREPARE—the contribution and role of local and household level adaptation in overall UK adaptation. Part of the PREPARE Programme of Research on preparedness, adaptation, and risk.

Klein, R., Midgley, G., Preston, B., Alam, M., Berkhout, F., Dow, K., … & Keskitalo, E. (2014). Adaptation opportunities, constraints, and limits. Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability.

Murphy, J. M., Sexton, D. M. H., Jenkins, G. J., Boorman, P. M., Booth, B. B. B., Brown, C. C., … & Betts, R. A. (2009). UK climate projections science report: climate change projections. Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, 21-35.

Pielke et al., 2007. Lifting the taboo on adaptation. Nature, 445: 597-598.

Porter et al. (2014). What do we know about UK household adaptation to climate change? A systematic review. Climatic Change, 127: 371-379

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