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23 Feb 2023

Investment for a well-adapted UK

Investment for a well-adapted UK

Risks from climate change to the UK...

Current and projected climate change will increase the severity and frequency of UK heatwaves, change UK rainfall patterns, exacerbate wildfire conducive conditions and cause the seas around the UK coast to continue to rise over the next century and beyond. These changes in aspects of UK weather and climate will create risks right across our economy, natural ecosystems, urban areas and agricultural environments, and society.

Together these risks are already having a large economic impact and this will significantly increase without additional action to address them...

Many types of action can help address the risks arising to the UK from climate change...

For any adaptation action, the quantifiable and monetisable benefits arising from avoided climate risks can be compared against the upfront cost associated with undertaking the action. Although there is large variation in the ratio of benefits to costs, there is now significant evidence that for many actions the total economic benefits to society are significantly greater than the costs associated with implementation, with some actions having benefits that could be over ten times greater than their costs.

The role of investment in supporting adaptation...

Many adaptation actions will require a one-off up-front expenditure to put them in place. In addition to the upfront expenditure some
adaptation actions may also require ongoing expenditure to keep them operating effectively. Specific adaptation needs can be broken into three groups regarding the role of investment:

  • Adaptation requiring significant additional investment: Adaptation can require investment in new assets/services whose primary purpose is to build resilience to weather and climate conditions.
  • Adaptation through changes in other investment flows: Some adaptation actions may not require significant additional investment flows, but instead require changes in how existing or planned investment flows are delivered, potentially at low or no additional cost.
  • Adaptation that does not require direct upfront investment: Some adaptation actions do not require a financial expenditure.

Source: Investment for a well-adjusted UK

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