Evaluate the responsibilities of the different levels of government in the UK and explain the electoral process.
The electoral process in the UK is based on the 'first past the post' rule. This means that a candidate wins a constituency simply by gaining more votes than any other candidate. However, this does not necessarily mean that the successful candidate received the majority of votes. For example, should four candidates compete, their seat in The House of Commons could be won with as few as 26% of the overall votes cast.
Similarly no government elected since nineteen-forty-five has secured over fifty percent of the national vote.1 These results arise because the British ...view middle of the document...
The principles underlying this document are summarised at Appendix 1. It does not attempt to address issues of resourcing and capacity.
Adaptation and risk management
Governments and private parties (including individuals, groups and businesses) currently manage a range of risks. Moreover, climate and weather-related risks have always been present so private parties and governments have long experience in managing these specific risks. Management of climate change risks is often an extension of existing risk management, albeit in a future context where adverse events may occur with greater severity and frequency, and adverse events may occur in different places due to climate change. In some cases climate change may see the emergence of new risks. Risk management for climate change should build on existing effective climate risk arrangements.
Roles and responsibilities between government and private parties
An important foundation for building successful risk management responses is determining responsibility for managing each risk. Risks will be dealt with most efficiently, effectively and appropriately by recognising and empowering those who are best placed to manage them.
For risk management to be effective in practice, risk bearers need to understand and accept their climate change risks and responsibility to manage them. Parties with a clear understanding of their climate change risks and responsibilities will be better placed to identify those actions that are necessary to manage these risks. Risk management approaches for dealing with these risks should best suit their specific circumstances and preferences of those affected.
It is not feasible, nor appropriate, for governments to bear all the costs of adapting to the impacts of climate change. It would also be inefficient and inappropriate for governments to make decisions on behalf of businesses and individuals that are better placed to understand and manage their own risks. Further, given that most of the assets and activities at risk from climate change are owned or managed by businesses or the community, it is reasonable to expect businesses and the community to manage their exposures.
Private parties should continue to take responsibility for their own actions, assets, investments and risks while public actions and policies should be carefully targeted and should not undermine the incentives for, or capacity of, private parties to individually manage risk.
The basic principle of the management of climate change risk should be as follows:
Private parties should be responsible for managing risks to private assets and incomes.
Governments – on behalf of the community – should primarily be responsible for managing risks to public goods and assets (including the natural environment) and government service delivery and creating an institutional, market and regulatory environment that supports and promotes private adaptation.
While government policies will...