University of Reading: Reading Scientists Play Key Part In UK Climate Risk Report

Two University of Reading climate scientists have made important contributions to a highly-anticipated new report on the biggest climate change risks facing the UK.

The UK Climate Change Committee today (Wednesday 16 June) published its third Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk. It outlined to governments that adaptation to the impacts of climate change is failing to keep pace with the level of risk already being faced.

Professor Nigel Arnell chaired the independent peer review panel for the accompanying Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA3) Technical Report, while Reading colleague Professor Ed Hawkins was a member of the Expert Advisory Group and had research cited in the report.

“To be effective, climate adaptation and resilience must be central to plans to ‘build back better’ from Covid-19.” – Professor Nigel Arnell, University of Reading

Professor Arnell said: “The third UK Climate Change Risk Assessment paints a rather depressing picture of how well prepared we are in the UK for climate change.

“Whilst there are some positive areas – particularly regarding flooding and water scarcity where much has been done – clearly a lot more needs to be done to cope with the increasing risks from climate change. National and international climate policy has focussed on reducing emissions, but we also need to adapt to inevitable change.

“The CCRA3 report draws on a great deal of published research and the team have done a great job in synthesising disparate sources evidence. But there are still important things we don’t know. The report shows that governments, businesses and the research community face challenges in exploring the effectiveness of specific adaptation measures, and the plausible ‘worst case scenarios’ that we need to plan for.

“To be effective, climate adaptation and resilience must be central to plans to ‘build back better’ from Covid-19.”

The Advice Report lays out the latest evidence to advise governments on priorities for national adaptation plans and wider climate action.

The latest report identified 61 risks and opportunities to reduce the impact of climate change on health, infrastructure, the economy, and the natural environment in the UK.

These included arguing that acting now on climate adaptation will be cheaper than dealing with the consequences, and lays out urgent risk areas, 10 principles for good adaptation.

The report drew on analysis and expertise by more than 450 people, 130 organisations, and 1,500 pages of evidence and research.

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