The UK Climate Risk – State of the Nation series delves into the Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk which set out the priority climate change risks and opportunities for the UK. The webinar series covers key sectors exposed to priority risks, important players in responding to climate risk, and some of the key challenges raised in the assessment. The YouTube recording of each session and presentation slides are available through the links below.Climate risk and adaptation: People, health systems and the built environment
High temperatures are affecting health and wellbeing, with more than 2,500 deaths caused by the 2020 heatwaves. Yet, there has been little progress in addressing the increasing risks from overheating in our houses, health and care facilities, schools and prisons. Despite progress on flood risk management, flooding from rivers, surface water and the sea remains a major risk to people and we discuss how these risks may evolve in the future. This session considers how the UK population will be affected by climate change and how these risks are modified by the built environment.
A healthy, functioning natural environment is essential for biodiversity, the continued delivery of key ecosystem services to the economy and to the health and well-being of our society. Despite this, the assessment found that current adaptation measures are inadequate to match the scale of key risks to the natural environment, including risks to terrestrial and freshwater species and habitats, soils, and natural carbon stores and sequestration. This session considers how the natural environment is exposed to priority risks identified in the Independent Assessment of the UK Climate Risk.
Flooding remains a key risk to infrastructure with the latest climate projections indicating an increased likelihood of heavy precipitation. Recent progress in flood protection measures will need to be maintained and extended across key infrastructure sectors. An increasing reliance on electricity as the UK transitions to a Net Zero economy, and the potential for climate impacts to cascade across interconnected sectors, means further action will be needed to understand and manage risks from weather-related failures of the power and ICT sectors. Meanwhile, further adaptation will be needed to address concerns for future supply of water in summer, in the face of a rising population, environmental and climate pressures. This session considers how UK infrastructure is exposed to priority risks identified in the Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk.
The Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk identified that adaptation generates high net benefits, in many cases, even when considering direct, financial, benefits alone. Despite this, and despite the attempts from private finance to help achieve Net Zero and diversify portfolios, there are still barriers to making public and private finance available for adaptation. This sessions considers the role of finance in delivering a climate resilient UK. One of the key goals of COP26 is to mobilise public and private sector finance.
The Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk identified that businesses are vulnerable to a range of climate impacts from heavy rainfall, surface water flooding and high temperatures, to water scarcity and coastal flooding. These impacts create a range of risks, such as disruption to supply chains and distribution networks, damage to business sites and reduced productivity. Some business decisions are creating additional risk by locking in increased exposure and vulnerability. This session considers the key climate risks that businesses are exposed to in the UK and the role of business in delivering a climate resilient UK.
The Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk identified the importance of successfully integrating action on adaptation and mitigation across government policy. Out of 15 relevant major UK Government announcements linked to addressing climate change made over the past three years, only four have included integrated plans and goals on adapting to climate change alongside goals and plans for reducing emissions. This session considers how achieving Net Zero emissions in the UK will be affected by our ability to adapt to climate change risks.
The Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk identified extreme weather events in the UK and globally can create cascading risks that spread across sectors and countries, with impacts an order of magnitude higher than impacts that occur within a single sector. Meanwhile, there is an opportunity at COP26 to show leadership on climate adaptation and secure clear commitments for increased adaptation financing and support developing countries with capacity building for implementing national adaptation actions. This session considers the exposure of the UK to international climate risks as well as the opportunity at COP26 to better integrate adaptation in global efforts to tackle climate change.
This webinar takes place on Wednesday 20th October 2021 at 10:00 UK time. Please sign up to attend here.
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