Climate bill in billions

UK faces annual climate damage bill of billions – Government analysis (via The Independent)

By Emily Beament

The UK faces annual costs of billions from the likes of flooding and heatwaves by the mid–century, a Government risk assessment has found.

The cost of climate change to the UK is set to rise to at least one percent of the GDP by 2045, with economic damage exceeding £1 billion per year in each of eight key areas by 2050 even if temperature rises are limited to 2C, it warned.

They include the health risks of high temperatures, the impacts of river and flash flooding on communities, buildings and business sites, and damage to carbon locked up in peatlands and woodlands.

New and stronger government action is needed in the next five years to deal with risks in more than half the areas assessed, such as climate threats to water, energy and transport networks and impacts on crops, the analysis says.

The report, produced as part of the Government’s legal requirements on tackling climate change, prompted warnings that damage caused by rising temperatures will be greater than the investment needed to avoid harmful levels of warming.

The risk assessment, the first of its kind for five years, looks at 61 potential risks – and opportunities – across business, infrastructure, health, nature and international issues at 2C and 4C of warming this century.

As well as the eight areas where economic damage could run to £1 billion–plus annually, in many more areas the potential damage could run to tens or even hundreds of millions of pounds a year by 2050, with the situation worsening by the 2080s with greater warming.

Read the full story here.