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Climate Change Risk Assessment Report

Chris Hurcombe
by Chris Hurcombe January 31, 2012
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Government publishes report with quantified risks and opportunities for Businesses

Last week (25 January 2012) the Government published a unique report listing the risks and opportunities businesses and the country as a whole will face from climate change. Entitled Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) the report also calls for public responses.

The main objective of this report is to point out the risks and opportunities that global warming will cause in the UK and enable the government, local authorities, industry and civil society organisations to prepare in advance for the inevitable consequences.

Global Climate is changing and will continue to change despite the efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Most climate scientists agree that even if we limit future greenhouse gas emissions, current and historical emissions mean that a certain amount of additional warming is inevitable.

The CCRA outlines some of the most important risks and opportunities that climate change may present. It provides an indication of their potential magnitude, when they might become significant and the level of confidence in each finding. As well as the overall picture, specific findings are presented for five complementary themes: Agriculture & Forestry, Business, Health & Wellbeing, Buildings & Infrastructure and the Natural Environment.

Key Messages from the CCRA:

  • The global climate is changing and warming will continue over the next century.
  • The UK is already vulnerable to extreme weather, including flooding and heat waves.
  • Flood risk is projected to increase significantly across the UK.
  • UK water resources are projected to come under increased pressure.
  • Potentially, there are health benefits as well as threats related to climate change, affecting the most vulnerable groups in our society.
  • Some changes projected for the UK as a result of climate change could provide opportunities for agriculture and other businesses, although not outweighing the threats.
  • Potential climate risks in other parts of the world are thought to be much greater than those directly affecting the UK, but could have a significant indirect impact here.

Risks and Opportunities for Businesses

According to the assessment the biggest threats UK businesses will face will be related to heat, flooding and water resources. Amongst them here are some of the most probable ones:

  • Damage to fixed assets, stock, etc.
  • Loss of business continuity due to flooding
  • Increased insurance claims and potential reduction in mortgage value of properties
  • Loss of assets due to sea level rise (including natural assets such as beaches and built assets such as tourist attractions, historical monuments, etc.)
  • Loss of productivity due to overheating and warm weather periods
  • Increased energy costs for summer cooling
  • Reduction in available water for abstraction.

On the other hand there are also many opportunities for business to capitalise with the eminent changes that will be caused by global warming and they include:

  • Melting of the Arctic could create quicker and cheaper shipping routes could link the UK with key global markets.
  • Warmer temperatures might increase the UK’s appeal as a tourist destination.
  • Energy demands for heating are projected to decrease

Like in an economic crisis, there will be those who loose and those who capitalise with these changes. It will be a matter of who’s prepared for it or not.

Is your business prepared for the upcoming changes that the climate change will cause in our economy?

For those of you interested in reading the full report it can downloaded pb13698-climate-risk-assessment and a summary is found Summary_of_Key_Findings.

If you would like more information on our range of business energy services or would simply like to find out how we could benefit your business, simply call our energy team today on 0870 710 7560 or request a call back at time to suit.