The head of the U.K.'s Environment Agency warned Wednesday that the country and its residents need to prepare for the worst effects of climate change.
"It is adapt or die," Emma Howard Boyd, who chairs the agency, said in a statement. "While mitigation might save the planet, it is adaptation, preparing for climate shocks, that will save millions of lives."
"Adaptation action needs to be integral to government, businesses and communities too and people will soon question why it isn’t – especially when it is much cheaper to invest early in climate resilience than to live with the costs of inaction," Boyd added.
Specifically, Boyd said that homes, office buildings and transportation needed to be resilient against "the more violent weather the climate emergency is bringing." She cited this past summer's flooding in Germany that killed approximately 200 people.
Boyd's remarks come just weeks ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.
Countries like the U.S., U.K. and Japan have increased their climate pledges ahead of the summit.
Alok Sharma, president of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, recently called on other Group of 20 countries to do the same.
"In Paris, leaders provided the world with consensus, with ambition and hope. But it was the beginning of the road," Sharma said of 2015 global climate change talks in Paris.
"And at that vital summit, the world must honour the promises made here in Paris six years ago," he added of the 2021 conference.