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Key Findings from the UK’s 2012 Climate Change Risk Assessment

The UK government recently released the first in a series of assessments that far more governments should be conducting – a climate change risk assessment. It’s a long document, and a number of people are talking about it, so we’ll just include a short list of the assessment’s “key messages” below. Despite the report’s recognition that “gaps in evidence” of climate risk still exist, it recommends robust action for risk management, demonstrating that being prepared does not require 100% certainty.

For the full report, click here. For additional UK and other government documents regarding the security risks of climate change, see our resources page.

From pg 4 of the Summary of the Key Findings:

  • The global climate is changing and warming will continue over the next century
  • The UK is already vulnerable to extreme weather, including flooding and heatwaves
  • 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
  • Sensitive ecosystems are likely to come under increasing pressure
  • 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
  • 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
  • Despite the uncertainties related to future climate change and its impacts, the evidence is now sufficient to identify a range of possible outcomes that can inform adaptation policies and planning
  • Significant gaps in evidence still exist

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