To ensure the UK’s infrastructure is prepared for the major challenges of the future – such as the impacts of climate change and population growth - those planning and running key systems and services need clear policy direction and long term objectives. They also need to work within a regulatory system that supports these aims.
This is particularly important when it comes to further enhancing the resilience of our vital infrastructure.
For instance, by 2050, £9 billion a year will be invested in the energy sector to achieve net zero emissions – while £0.9 billion will need to be spent on drought resilience. Investment on this scale, supported by bill payers, requires an evolution of the UK’s policy and regulatory framework. The Commission has undertaken two major studies covering this area: Strategic investment and public confidence and Anticipate, React, Recover: Resilient infrastructure systems.
In January 2022 the Government published a policy paper in response to the recommendations the Commission made in its regulation study. This committed the Government to issuing additional strategic guidance to regulators, reviewing their duties and exploring using competition for strategic investments, in line with the Commission’s report.
Improving the resilience of infrastructure to the impacts from climate change is one of the strategic themes which will shape the Commission’s work in the second National Infrastructure Assessment, due out in 2023.
Our Baseline Report confirms that the Commission will undertake projects addressing two key challenges related to this theme:
- how better asset management can support resilience, barriers to investment, and the role of data and technology in maintaining existing assets
- a study on reducing the risks from surface water flooding and reducing water pollution from drainage.
More information on the surface water flooding study can be found here.
Along with our related work, such as on financing nuclear projects, we seek to chart how government, regulators and relevant sectors might create the best environment to enable market-led solutions for securing sustainable and reliable infrastructure which addresses the UK’s future needs.
Regulation & resilience data
Data sets relating to infrastructure regulation and resilience are available to review on our Data pages. The data can be reviewed online or downloaded.Review data
James Heath’s speech to Utility Week Live: climate adaptation and resilience
The Commission’s Chief Executive, James Heath, today (17 May 2022) gave a keynote address at Utility Week Live on climate adaptation and resilience. The session, held at the Birmingham NEC, explored utilities’ approaches to adaptation planning and how they are seeking to build resilience to respond to the impacts of climate change already present, as...
NIA2 Baseline Charts
Data from the Baseline Report providing an overview of the current performance of the infrastructure sectors within the Commission's remit
Infrastructure Progress Review 2022
Our annual assessment of the government's progress on implementing its commitments on infrastructure.
Commission highlights “slow progress” on infrastructure plans to deliver levelling up and net zero goals
The government is at risk of failing to deliver the aims of its National Infrastructure Strategy unless it picks up the pace with detailed policy design and implementation, the UK’s official independent infrastructure adviser has warned. The National Infrastructure Commission says that clear, long term goals are now in place across most infrastructure areas and...
Commission calls for “real policy changes” on utilities regulation
The government has today (31 January 2022) published a policy paper in response to the Commission’s 2019 study on regulation, Strategic Investment and Public Confidence. This study highlighted that, whilst the current system of regulation had generated significant investment over the past decades, it was increasingly facing new challenges that it was not designed to...
Regional water plans a positive step towards drought resilience for England
Commitments by water companies to take action together to secure long term water supplies for consumers and businesses in England have been welcomed by the Commission as an important step towards achieving long term resilience to drought. Consultations are now underway on new draft water resource management plans by the five regional water resources groups....
Frank debate on costs and expectations needed to prepare infrastructure for climate change
A public debate needs to be held on the right level of investment that today’s consumers and taxpayers can be expected to pay to prepare key national infrastructure for climate risks of the future, the Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission has told a Parliamentary committee. Sir John Armitt told MPs and Peers that on...
National Infrastructure Assessment
An analysis of the UK’s long term economic infrastructure needs, outlining a strategic vision over the next thirty years.
Commission pinpoints strategic gaps in infrastructure planning ahead of next landmark national assessment
The National Infrastructure Commission has announced the topics that will sit at the heart of its next major assessment of the UK’s long term infrastructure priorities, to be published in 2023, following analysis of the current performance of key sectors. The priorities will include identifying the infrastructure needed for hydrogen and carbon capture and storage...
Second National Infrastructure Assessment: Baseline Report
Our analysis of the performance of key infrastructure sectors which will inform the work leading to the UK's second National Infrastructure Assessment
Government accepts Commission’s recommendations for better resilience
The government has today (15 September 2021) published its formal response to the Commission’s 2020 study on resilience, Anticipate, react, recover – Resilient infrastructure systems. This study called for a new framework for resilience which anticipates future shocks and stresses; improves actions to resist, absorb and recover from them by testing for vulnerabilities; values resilience...
Climate resilience focus welcomed in proposed water strategic policy statement
The National Infrastructure Commission has welcomed aspects of the draft Strategic Policy Statement for Ofwat, published today (22 July 2021). The statement sets out the government’s strategic priorities and expectations for Ofwat’s regulation of the water sector in England. Giles Stevens, Director of Policy at the National Infrastructure Commission, said: “Strategic policy statements play an...
Plans of action needed next to deliver strategic goals, says Commission
Detailed plans for decarbonising energy supply, accelerating the roll out of electric vehicle charge points and connecting hard to reach areas with high capacity broadband are among the next steps needed to ensure government can deliver its aims for levelling up and meeting the net zero target, according to the National Infrastructure Commission. The Commission’s...
Annual Monitoring Report 2021
Our annual assessment of the government’s progress in delivering infrastructure projects and programmes recommended by the Commission.