Independent Assessment
of UK Climate Risk

Advice to Government
For the UK’s third Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA3)

16 June 2021

Type of publication:
UK climate risk

Country focus:


The Adaptation Committee’s Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk sets out the priority climate change risks and opportunities for the UK. The report draws on an extensive programme of analysis, consultation and consideration by the Committee involving over 450 people, 130 organisations and more than 1,500 pages of evidence and analysis.

In support of this advice report, we’ve created a dedicated website to host all of the outputs from the UK Climate Risk Independent Assessment (CCRA3), including:

3. Key findings

The Advice Report provides the Adaptation Committee’s statutory advice to Governments on priorities for the forthcoming national adaptation plans and wider action. It is informed by extensive new evidence gathered for the accompanying Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA3) Technical Report. More than 60 risks and opportunities have been identified, fundamental to every aspect of life in the UK covering our natural environment, our health, our homes, the infrastructure on which we rely, and the economy.

  • Alarmingly, this new evidence shows that the gap between the level of risk we face and the level of adaptation underway has widened. Adaptation action has failed to keep pace with the worsening reality of climate risk.
  • The UK has the capacity and the resources to respond effectively to these risks, but it has not yet done so. Acting now will be cheaper than waiting to deal with the consequences. Government must lead that action.
  • The Committee identifies eight risk areas that require the most urgent attention in the next two years. They have been selected on the basis of the urgency of additional action, the gap in UK adaptation planning, the opportunity to integrate adaptation into forthcoming policy commitments and the need to avoid locking in poor planning, especially as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Committee also reports on the full set of 61 risks and opportunities. These must be considered in the next set of national National Adaptation Plans, due from 2023.
  •  The Committee recommends ten principles for good adaptation planning that should form the basis for the next round of national adaptation plans. These are intended to bring adaptation into mainstream consideration by Government and business.

Highest priorities for further adaptation in the next two years.

5. Animation

6. Event highlights

7. Structure of the Independent Assessment

  • The Advice Report (this report) provides the Adaptation Committee’s statutory advice to government on the priorities for the forthcoming national adaptation plans and wider action, drawing on the analysis in the Technical Report. This report does not summarise all 61 risks and opportunities in detail as this is done elsewhere, but it does provide a synthesis of the cross-cutting issues that emerge from the Technical Report, alongside the Committee’s recommendations.
  • The Technical Report provides the full analysis for 61 climate change risks and opportunities for the UK. Chapters 0 to 2 cover an introduction, the wider climate change context and method. Chapters 3 to 7 cover the risk assessment split by sector – natural environment; infrastructure; health, communities and built environment; business; and international dimensions. The Technical Report has been produced by a consortium of expert technical authors, led by the University of Exeter in partnership with the Met Office. The Technical Report is underpinned by a wider range of reports prepared specifically to support CCRA3, including a Valuation Report and other supporting research reports. Three calls for evidence were also carried out to identify additional evidence from the public, private and third sector stakeholders.
  • The Summaries provide an accessible, shorter introduction and signposting of the risk assessment presented in the Technical Report. There are two types of summary: 17 factsheets that summarise the assessment for different themes chosen by government; and four national summaries that give an overview of the risk assessment for each UK nation. The summaries have been produced by a consortium led by Sustainability West Midlands.


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