UK’s Third Climate Change Risk Assessment published

Photo by Markus Spiske:

Today the Government has published the UK’s Third Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA3), a five-year assessment which identifies the risks that climate change poses to multiple parts of the UK society and economy.

Delivered under the Climate Change Act 2008 and following close work with the Climate Change Committee (CCC), the report includes recognition of the further progress that the UK government will seek to deliver through National Adaptation Programme (NAP3), to be laid in Parliament in 2023.

The risk assessment considers sixty-one UK-wide climate risks and opportunities cutting across multiple sectors of the economy and prioritises the following eight risk areas for action in the next two years:

  • risks to the viability and diversity of terrestrial and freshwater habitats and species from multiple hazards
  • risks to soil health from increased flooding and drought
  • risks to natural carbon stores and sequestration from multiple hazards
  • risks to crops, livestock and commercial trees from multiple climate hazards
  • risks to supply of food, goods and vital services due to climate-related collapse of supply chains and distribution networks
  • risks to people and the economy from climate-related failure of the power system
  • risks to human health, wellbeing and productivity from increased exposure to heat in homes and other buildings
  • multiple risks to the UK from climate change impacts overseas

According to the Government, economic damages for eight individual risks could exceed £1 billion per year each by 2050, with a temperature rise of 2°C, with the cost of climate change to the UK rising to at least 1% of GDP by 2045.

Work that has been undertaken by the UK government and the devolved administrations to adapt to climate include:

  • Investing a record £5.2 billion to build 2,000 new flood defences by 2027.
  • Continuing work on the Green Finance Strategy to align private sector financial flows with ‘clean, environmentally sustainable and resilient growth.’
  • Increasing the total spend from the Nature for Climate Fund on peat restoration, woodland creation and management to more than £750m by 2025.
  • Ensuring that climate science and research, such as the UK Climate Projections 2018, are fully integrated into planning and decision-making, including on major infrastructure.

Following the completion of the CCRA, and to support the development of NAP3, the Government will now conduct further internal work to develop new and existing policies to tackle the risks, and engage with external stakeholders to further develop objectives ahead of the publication of NAP3.

‘UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2022’ is available on the UK Government website.