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Experts from the University of Birmingham have contributed to a major review of climate risk in the UK, produced by the Climate Change Committee, which shows action to improve the nation’s resilience is failing to keep pace with the impacts of a warming planet.

The Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk (for the third Climate Change Risk Assessment - CCRA3) is a comprehensive review of the risks and opportunities facing the UK from climate change.

With contributions from 130 organisations and over 450 experts, the independent report sets out the Committee’s advice to Government informed by a 1,500-page technical report collating the latest evidence across a range of key sectors, among many other outputs. The University of Birmingham contributed to the technical report, providing expertise and advice on the Infrastructure Chapter, which details the current state-of-play of how UK infrastructure is continuing to adapt to the challenge of climate change.

The University of Birmingham, along with the University of Manchester, led a team of contributing authors from across the field of climate impacts research in the UK to produce the chapter, which sets out the infrastructure priorities for the next UK National Adaptation Programme and the adaptation programmes of the Devolved Administrations.

Lee Chapman, Professor of Climate Resilience at the University of Birmingham, said: “This is the third UK climate change risk assessment I have been involved in, and each time I am amazed at the dedication of the team of scientists involved in producing such a comprehensive appraisal of climate risks on the infrastructure sector. 

“The report highlights that whilst we continue to make progress towards increasingly climate resilient infrastructure, progress is slow.  There is still much to be done to continue to adapt to the challenges faced such as flooding, water scarcity and how climate risks cascade across infrastructure networks and / or impact other sectors – especially a growing reliance on the power system.  The technical report provides the crucial next step towards informing future policy to secure the continued functioning of our infrastructure as a key enabler of the UK economy.”

Dr David Jaroszweski, who also contributed to the report, said: “It has been an honour to have been involved in leading the third iteration of the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment. We looked at 13 key risks to UK infrastructure, including risks to water resources, energy and transport. It is apparent that despite good progress in a number of areas, there is still much work needed to adapt our infrastructure to the expected impacts of climate change.

“Additionally, we must also start to consider in more detail how the expected rapid and widespread transformation to a low carbon society will affect our exposure to climate risk. Across the infrastructure sector, it is important that we take the right decisions now to avoid locking-in impacts for the future – this assessment will be fundamental in guiding Government and industry action on this over the next five years."

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