UK failed to protect people from climate change: Expert
A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change revealed that global climate impacts will cause shortages of imported goods and raise their prices in the UK.
A lead author of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the United Kingdom "is very much not adapted to climate change and is not prepared."
According to the study, which was approved by 195 countries and was published this week, the global impacts of the climate crisis are worse than predicted, and there is only a slim chance of securing "a liveable future for all."
The report added that one of the most significant impacts in the UK will be increased flooding from rivers, coasts, and intense downpours in urban areas. Sewage treatment plants, airports, and seaports are among the critical infrastructure at risk, as are the effects of storms on electricity and communication networks.
While winters are becoming wetter, summers are becoming drier, and water shortages are expected to increase in England and Wales, doubling in frequency within decades, the report said.
Heatwaves are also becoming a more dangerous and lethal threat, with many homes and hospitals unprepared. According to a study cited in the report, global warming was responsible for one in every three heat-related deaths in the United Kingdom between 1991 and 2018.
Furthermore, the report said that global climate impacts will cause shortages of imported goods and raise their prices in the UK, as well as harming markets for British exports. The report even warns of financial insecurity as a result of economic shocks caused by climate change.
Prof Richard Betts, at the UK Met Office and a lead author of both the IPCC report and the CCRA added that the “IPCC report backs up the conclusions of the UK climate change risk assessment (CCRA) published in 2021.”
“The key point is that the UK is very much not adapted to climate change and not prepared,” he added.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK government's chief scientific advisor, responded to the IPCC report by warning of increased extreme weather in the UK, "This will put a strain on housing, agriculture, transportation, and supply chains – little of which was built with such pressure in mind."
He also warned that more wildfires would endanger cities near moorland, such as Manchester and Sheffield. "The challenge is enormous," Vallance said, "but it can be met."
According to the IPCC report, which is based on 34,000 scientific studies, the UK and Europe have experienced the highest number of river floods in 500 years over the last three decades.
The Climate Change Committee (CCC), the UK government's official advisors, stated in June 2021 that the government was failing to protect people from the rapidly increasing risks of the climate crisis, with action to improve resilience falling behind the impacts of global warming.
The IPCC report emphasizes that the climate crisis disproportionately affects the poor, vulnerable, and excluded in society and that addressing inequality is a critical component of combating global warming.