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27JAN
2012
Report: UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) Business, Industry and Services
Category: Agribusiness & Forestry, Financial Services, Government & Policy, Latest News, Tourism, Water & Sanitation

The report acknowledged that the business, industry and services sector was one of the main drivers of the UK economy and highlighted that alongside the risks posed by climate impacts, there is an opportunity to gain significant commercial advantage by taking early action to adapt.

The ‘Business, Industry and Services’ section of the CCRA acknowledged the many interdependencies both between different parts of the sector and with other sectors, such as transport and the built environment. The key areas that were highlighted in the section include:

  • The significant threat posed to the financial sector: Climate change is likely to have both direct impacts on operations through damage to buildings and infrastructure and indirect, market-related risks. The report notes that the financial sector is exposed to climate risks that extend well beyond UK borders. It recommends that UK financial institutions incorporate climate risk and adaptation considerations into their governance and risk management processes.
  • Increasing pressure on the insurance industry and mortgage lenders: The industry has seen considerable growth in weather-related claims in recent decades; a trend that is expected to increase as payouts resulting from flooding continue to rise. Properties may be subject to higher insurance premiums and, as a consequence, mortgages may become harder to obtain.
  • Business continuity may be negatively affected: Disruption to supply chains and transport systems, interrupted supply of essential services, interruptions in IT services, damage to assets, and declines in workforce productivity are identifiable risks due to higher temperatures and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.
  • Water scarcity poses a risk to industry: Reductions in the availability of water for use by agriculture and industry is likely to cause disruption. By 2050, there may be a significant decrease in the number of rivers where sustainable abstraction is possible. Water scarcity is expected to be a particular problem for south-east and south-west England, and the Anglian and Severn river basin regions; areas which account for 13% of total UK industrial abstraction.
  • A changing picture for the UK tourism industry: Warmer temperatures may encourage more visitors to the UK. This might lead to increased pressure on existing tourist assets as well as the establishment of new tourist destinations. Alongside such opportunities, river and tidal flooding poses considerable risks to tourist infrastructure; 33,000 tourism facilities currently lie within flood risk zones.

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