Wednesday 26th October 2016                 Change text size:

Defra: climate change abroad will impact UK economy

Rescuers use boats to bring locals to a safer area on a flooded street in landslide-hit Zhouqu County of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture

Changes in the world’s temperatures overseas will in some cases affect the UK economy more than climate change on the country’s doorstep, according to new research commissioned by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The study, by consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, is part of the government’s National Adaptation Programme and assesses the effects of climate change abroad on UK’s economy.

It found out that in a scenario of 2C warming, the country would be penalised because of volatility of food prices and the need for more frequent humanitarian actions required for extreme weather events.

These would also affect physical and financial assets and could require the UK to supply more help and services to citizens abroad or in overseas territories.

There would also be opportunities to export UK adaptation goods and services, increase international co-operation and exploit ocean accessibility due to the Arctic melting, but these benefits would not outweigh the costs.

According to PwC, “Whilst progress has been made in many countries, including the UK, to understand the impact of climate change within national borders, little progress has been made to understand the international dimensions.

“And yet in an increasingly inter-connected world, it is more important than ever that governments, businesses and other organisations understand and are able to adapt to changes in other countries.”

The study recommend to increase the co-operation between the public and the private sector to face the international effects of climate change, to carefully consider the risks and benefits of them and to plan effective strategies to assess changes that will occur.

Further reading:

97% of scientists agree that climate change is human-caused

Stark warnings from experts on the consequences of climate change

Investing for a rainy day of biblical proportions

London could experience major flooding every decade as ice melts

Climate change is responsible for extreme weather


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