Monday 24th October 2016                 Change text size:

UK needs to adapt to climate change risks

UK needs to adapt to climate change risks

Research released by the Government shows the top 100 problems the UK faces because of climate change. This research is seen as a stepping stone to tackle the effects of global warming in the UK. Charlotte Reid has more.

The Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA), released on Thursday January 26th, highlights the problems that face the UK and its economy because of climate change.

The report addresses challenges such as an increased risk of flooding, and increased pressure on the UK’s water resources.

The report, which comes in at over 2,000 pages, was released by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and is part of the Government’s strategy to cope with global warming. The research was carried out over the past three years, and it is the first comprehensive assessment of the risks of climate change in Britain.  

Speaking at the launch of the CCRA, environment secretary Caroline Spellman said the research “provides the most comprehensive case yet on why we need to take action to adapt the UK and our economy to the impacts of climate change”.

She said the report “shows what life could be like if we stopped our preparations now and the consequences such a decision would mean for our economic stability.

“The Climate Change Risk Assessment will be vital in helping us to understand what we need to do to stop these threats becoming a reality. In doing so there is also great potential for growth through UK firms developing innovative products and services tailored to meet the global climate challenges.”

Lord John Krebs, chair of the adaptation subcommittee of the Committee on Climate Change, said it is important for the UK to plan ahead.

“Without an effective plan to prepare for the risks from climate change the country may sleepwalk into disaster”, he said.

“This report represents an important first step in the process and demonstrates why the UK needs to take action to adapt now.”

Professor Bob Watson, chief scientific adviser at Defra, said the report “means we can compare a wide range of risks based on their financial, social and environmental implications”.

“This will be invaluable for Government in prioritising the areas for future policies and investment, and it will help businesses assess what they need to do to ensure they are resilient to the changing climate.

Blue & Green Tomorrow has highlighted the good work that is already taking place in businesses that benefits the environment. In the UK there are a number of IFAs who are specialising in ethical investment. There are also a great number of businesses who are thinking about more than just profit but also their social responsibility as a company.

But more can always be done.

Dr Matthew Brown, who is head of energy and climate change policy for the CBI, a business lobbying organisation, says that many UK firms are already thinking about the ways in which climate change could affect the economy.

But he also points out some room for improvement.

“The CBI has suggested that companies include climate change as part of their on-going risk management, including looking at risks to their supply chain, assets, operations, markets, regulatory compliance and business reputation”, he said.

“We also say that climate exposure should be included in corporate reports.”

The evidence from this report is being used to develop a National Adaptation Programme (NAP), which will be published in 2013. This will be used to set out the Government’s plans to address climate change. Spelman has called for the public to be involved in NAP and is encouraging the public to tell the Government what they should consider as priority areas.

There is another way that you can show the Government how you feel about climate change – by making a difference to the future of our planet now.

You can stop relying upon fossil fuels and start using renewable energy in your home. Just get in touch with Good Energy to find out more.

You can even make a difference in your travel habits by looking at the sustainable alternatives available.

Or be more selective about where you shop. Blue & Green Tomorrow recommends the Ethical Superstore.

You can also start to invest your money into companies and funds that help the environment and create a sustainable economy. Just speak to your IFA to find out more. If you don’t have one then fill in our online form and we will put you in touch with a financial adviser.

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