UK Climate Change Risk Assessment shows the East of England needs to adapt

A STUDY into the implications of climate change has revealed that the key priorities for the East of England include responding to water availability, flooding and sea level rise.

The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) 2012 highlights the top 100 challenges to the country and our economy, and provides the most compelling evidence yet of the need to increase our resilience.

The research also confirms the UK as a world-leader in understanding climate risk to ensure we can make robust plans to deal with these threats. It provides underpinning evidence that can be used by the Government to help inform priorities for action and appropriate adaptation measures.

Drawing on information within the CCRA and other local evidence, the analysis illustrates what climate change may mean for people, businesses, community and charitable groups, local authorities, and other organisations across key sectors, at the local level. It also highlights where there is a strong case for greater local action.

Speaking at the launch of the CCRA, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said:

“This world class research provides the most comprehensive case yet on why we need to take action to adapt the UK and our economy to the impacts of climate change. It shows what life could be like if we stopped our preparations now, and the consequences such a decision would mean for our economic stability.

“The Climate Change Risk Assessment will be vital in helping us to understand what we need to do to stop these threats becoming a reality. In doing so there is also great potential for growth through UK firms developing innovative products and services tailored to meet the global climate challenges.”

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Within the East of England, John Devall, Water Operations Director for Essex & Suffolk Water said:

“It is vital for businesses to include climate change adaptation in their business planning processes to ensure a sustainable future. Our project for the development of the Abberton Reservoir in Essex, provides an example of adapting an existing asset to secure water supplies for the future whilst protecting and enhancing the natural environment.”

To respond to the adaptation challenge organisations in the private, public and academic sector in the East of England are collaborating in a network to share information and provide support in order to provide effective and efficient solutions for climate change adaptation.

Dr Aled Jones, Director of Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute, commented:

“The need for organisations, both public and private, to work together has been made ever more apparent with the release of the Climate Change Risk Assessment. As highlighted in the East of England summary report our region is already at risk of water scarcity and flooding and this will only get worse with the impact of climate change, coupled with an increasing demand from development and population growth. For example, 25% of all properties in Norfolk are at risk of flooding and almost 50% of water catchment areas are already over abstracted or over licensed at times of low flow”.