A temperature rise of 2°C could cost the UK’s economy more than £1 billion per year by 2050.
That’s according to the UK’s third Climate Change Risk Assessment, published by the government, which identifies the risks the UK is facing from climate change.
The report which is based on the evidence presented in the Climate Change Committee (CCC)’s Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk which was published last year estimates that the cost of climate change to the UK could rise to at least 1% of GDP by 2045.
Released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the assessment report identified 61 climate risks with 34 of them being ranked as ‘more action needed’.
It identifies a range of potential costly impacts on health, public services and businesses.
Impacts include risks to agricultural productivity, soil health and natural carbon stores because of extreme flooding and drought events.
The report suggests unless policymakers take further action, under a 2°C by 2100 warming scenario, annual damages from flooding for non-residential properties across the UK are expected to increase by 27% by 2050.
Climate Adaptation Minister Jo Churchill said: “The scale and severity of the challenge posed by climate change mean we cannot tackle it overnight and although we’ve made good progress in recent years there is clearly much more that we need to do.”
Greg Hands, Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, commented: “This report makes clear the risks of failing to act on climate change, and the UK’s world leading approach to net zero must include action on adaptation to ensure we are resilient to climate change in the future.
“This includes building on our strong progress to deliver a reliable, home grown renewable energy sector, provide highly skilled jobs, and secure investment as we build a cleaner future.”
Baroness Brown of Cambridge, Chair of the CCC’s Adaptation Committee, said: “We strongly welcome the Government’s Climate Change Risk Assessment which is based very closely on the CCC’s independent view of UK climate risk. But agreeing on the risks is one thing – taking action to address them is another.
“Building resilience to a cocktail of climate impacts facing our country, including flooding, drought, heat exposure and extreme weather events, is a mammoth task and we’re falling well behind. We look forward to seeing the Government’s action plan to shift the dial and deliver a well-adapted UK.”