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CCRA3 Launched

CCRA3 Launched 16 June 2021

Urgent action needed to deal with the impacts of climate change which are already happening

Today marks the launch of the third UK Climate Change Risk Assessment Independent Assessment (CCRA3). This is put together by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) who has a legal duty to advise the Government on the third CCRA, which will be published next year. 

The CCRA3 Independent Assessment sets out the risks from climate change to the UK’s people, infrastructure, natural environment and businesses. The science, research and analysis that goes into the Assessment takes years of preparation, but what results is a hugely useful resource that is critical to us preparing for what is likely to happen as a result of climate change. 

We all know this is not something we can ignore any longer, and the evidence essentially tells us this. 

For Northern Ireland, 61 risks and opportunities from climate change have been assessed, including to business, infrastructure, housing, the natural environment, our health and from the impacts of climate change internationally.  

Risks are categorised as: 

 “More action needed” and “Further investigation” which are more urgent than;  

“Watching brief” and “Sustain current action”.  

Of these 61 risks and opportunities, more action is needed now to address 31 of them, further investigation is urgently needed for 19, sustaining current adaptation action is only deemed appropriate for five of the risks or opportunities and six have been classified as watching brief. 

While many of the risks and opportunities are similar in urgency and magnitude across each UK nation, in Northern Ireland, the lower level of quality evidence available and relatively limited climate related policy in force, increase the uncertainty around future climate change impacts (although there are many policies in development and baseline studies underway). Changing climatic conditions and extreme weather event impacts may also be exacerbated in future due to the degraded state of the natural environment and the interactions with external factors such as pollution, overfishing and land use.  

In order to find out more I would recommend that you start by having a look through a series of briefings, which outline the risks to various different sectors of our society. For those of you wanting the detail, the summary of risks to Northern Ireland (Written by Climate Northern Ireland) or the Advice Report is the next place to go, and the real technical stuff is in the Technical Report

Climate Northern Ireland is proud to have been heavily involved in the development of many of the resources outlined above, including some of the supplementary research as well, all of which can be downloaded on the UK Climate Risk website.  

It is now the job of the Governments in all four UK nations to get their heads round what this means for their countries and associated policies and programmes. What isn’t an option is to do nothing and hope for the best, because regardless of our efforts and successes with our Net Zero ambitions, we are wedded to an element of climate change which we’re already seeing today. As we come gradually out of the COVID–19 crisis, we need to apply the same sense of urgency, change and action that we did to dealing with the pandemic to tackling climate change, on both the mitigation and adaptation front. 

Dr. Jade Berman, Acting Climate NI Manager & Climate Resilience Researcher