The Adapting to Climate Change website is intended to help businesses, planners and others adapt to more extreme weather conditions.

Climate change minister Joan Ruddock said: “Our climate is changing. We need to future proof our buildings and public spaces against this as much as possible.

“Even nature itself will need help to adapt to climate change if we’re not to lose precious biodiversity.”

She called on public and private sector organisations to develop new approaches to deal with the impact of a changing climate.

This includes an increased risk of flooding and erosion, rising sea levels, hotter and drier summers, loss of biodiversity and risks to human health, she warned, with society having to adapt.

“We’ll need good design that works with the environment rather than against it, creating buildings that stay cool in the heat and deal with water that will be in short supply in summer and pouring into the drains during heavy storms,” said Ms Ruddock.

“This one stop shop will help people to identify the challenges we will face in the future and to make the decisions now that will help us to manage them.”

Government said the website offers the most comprehensive collection of resources on adapting to climate change available in the UK.

It is part of moves to make sure the country is ready to deal with the impacts of climate change – already irreversible.

Details include how the climate will change, links to help and advice on adaptation and examples of what Ms Ruddock called “visionary climate-resistant buildings” around the country, whose lead she urged others to follow.

Even if all CO2 emissions stop today the world will still see rising temperatures for 30 to 40 years and at least 100 years of sea level rise due to past pollution, ministers said.

David Gibbs

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