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Committee on Climate Change highlights the risks of global warming

Published: Thursday, 14th July 2016

New report details the evidence of the most urgent risks facing the UK, and suggests priorities for the next five years…

The Government’s official advisers on global warming have called for urgent action on flooding, dealing with deadly heat waves and facing up to water shortages.

Those issues were highlighted in the latest report from the independent Committee on Climate Change which assesses climate-related risks.

Changes to the UK climate are likely to include periods of too much or too little water, increasing average and extreme temperatures, and a rise in sea level. The report concluded that the most urgent risks for the UK resulting from these changes are:

  • Flooding and coastal change risks to communities, businesses and infrastructure
  • Risks to health, wellbeing and productivity from high temperatures
  • Risk of shortages in the public water supply, and water for agriculture, energy generation and industry, with impacts on freshwater ecology
  • Risks to natural capital, including terrestrial, coastal, marine and freshwater ecosystems, soils and biodiversity.

The report noted that at present an estimated 1.8 million people in the UK are living in areas at significant risk of river, surface water or coastal flooding. The population living in such areas is projected to rise to 2.6 million by the 2050s.

The analysis also highlighted risks to historic buildings and increasing risks to passengers on public transport and patients in health care facilities. The report pointed out that newer homes are at a greater risk of overheating than older designs.

View the report and further details on the Committee on Climate Change website.

Roger Milne