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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Climate Risk in the UK

A new report from the Adaptation Sub-Committee for the UK's Committee on Climate Change has generated estimates of the exposure of housing to flooding in coming years, largely due to ongoing development in floodplains. The report notes that development in such at-risk areas has outpaced development in less vulnerable locations. Despite emerging efforts toward adaptive flood protection, the pace of adaptation is unlikely to keep pace with development resulting in growing vulnerability.

The punchline: "Climate change could increase the number of properties in England with a significant chance of flooding2 from rivers or the sea: from 330,000 now to between 630,000 and 1.2 million by the 2080s, according to the climate change scenarios used in the CCRA. The annual expected costs of flooding could increase from £1 billion now to between £1.8 billion and £5.6 billion (present day prices) over the same time period. These estimates assume no further action to prepare, no population growth and no change in the property stock."

The report also takes a look at water scarcity, finding traditional demand management measures such as reduced household consumption and addressing leakage will not be able to offset the projected supply deficit for 2050.

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