Managing the coast in a changing climate

This report by the CCC’s Adaptation Committee investigates the long-term challenges of managing England’s coastline against the backdrop of a changing climate.

Overall, we conclude that the current approach to coastal management in England is unsustainable in the face of climate change.

The key findings are:

  • Coastal communities, infrastructure and landscapes already face threats from flooding and coastal erosion. These threats will increase in the future.
  • In the future, some coastal communities and infrastructure are likely to be unviable in their current form. This problem is not being confronted with the required urgency or openness.
  • Sustainable coastal adaptation is possible and could deliver multiple benefits. However, it requires a long term commitment and proactive steps to inform and facilitate change in social attitudes.

Supporting research

Coastal flood and erosion risk in England (Sayers)
Coastal futures – Cost Benefit Analysis (Sayers)
Economics of coastal change management in England (Jacobs)

The appendices to Economics of coastal change management in England (by Jacobs) and spreadsheets containing the underlying data used in the Cost Benefit Analysis calculations are available on request.