The Climate Change Act 2008 is an important piece of UK legislation that, on a five-yearly cycle, requires the Government to compile an assessment of the risks for the UK arising from climate change, and then to develop an adaptation programme to address those risks and deliver resilience to climate change on the ground. In accordance with the requirements of the Act, this report presents the Government’s second assessment of the risks and opportunities for the UK of the current and predicted impact of climate change, which follows on from the first report published in 2012.
This report aims to outline the UK and Devolved Governments’ views on the key climate change risks and opportunities that the UK faces today. These views have been informed primarily by an independent assessment of the available evidence on climate risks and opportunities, which was commissioned by the UK and Devolved Governments from the Adaptation Sub-Committee of the Committee on Climate Change. The Adaptation Sub-Committee’s UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017 Evidence Report sets out six priority areas needing urgent further action over the next five years. The next two sections of this report provide the UK and Devolved Governments’ views on each of those six urgent priority areas. Further action to address these risks will be considered as we develop the next National Adaptation Programme, covering England and non-devolved matters, and due to be published in 2018. The Devolved Governments each have their own policy and implementation framework and these are set out in Section 3 along with their views on the specific risks that affect them.