Climate change risks to UK food, water and electricity highlighted
Other priority areas identified in the report include the global supply chain, which is likely to be disrupted by increasingly extreme weather conditions, and energy security, where the UK’s energy supply comes from more in addition to weather-dependent renewables. The final priority area identified for urgent action is the risk to health and productivity from overheating UK buildings.
The report, published by the UK government, further identified the growing cost of climate change to the UK, with one projection being that climate-related costs could total 1% of UK GDP by 2045.
The government said: “Evidence shows that we need to do more to integrate climate change into all decisions that have long-term effects, such as in new housing or infrastructure, to avoid remedial measures that are often costly to the future. And we need to consider low-probability but high-impact events resulting from, for example, high warming scenarios and interrelated or cascading risks.
However, although the government has acknowledged that its actions to date “have not been sufficient to address the growing risks of climate change”, its report says there are still opportunities to address climate-related risks. . The report said many early adaptation investments, such as those in climate-resilient infrastructure and upland peatland restoration, have proven to be “highly effective and offer excellent value for money”.
Professor Colin Campbell, chief executive of the James Hutton Institute, a leading provider of environmental, crop and food science research, said: ‘The science is clear, we urgently need to rethink our relationship with the natural world, if we are to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.
“Time is running out, we need new, innovative ways to grow food that no longer put pressure on our land, but preserve it for nature. Advances in agricultural technology, particularly in vertical growing systems like those developed by IGS Limited and supported by science from the James Hutton Institute, provide us with such opportunities. Despite a minimal footprint, we can grow a diverse range of foods locally throughout the year, greatly reducing the need for imports, while providing a secure supply chain of fresh, nutritious food sources,” did he declare.
Fiona Ross, who specializes in environmental law issues at Pinsent Masons, including climate change and net zero, natural capital and climate solutions, said: “The Environment Act 2021 sets a target legally binding to halt the decline in species abundance by 2030, and the UK has also made biodiversity commitments in the G7 Nature Compact, so investment in green infrastructure and Natural capital solutions will be an important part of the UK’s response to the climate change risks highlighted in the report. We are already seeing mechanisms for private sector investment and funding of natural capital solutions in the UK and expect this market to continue to grow.