Memorandum submitted by the UK Climate
Impacts Programme (UKCIP) (FL 100)
1.1 The UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP)
welcomes the opportunity to provide comments to the Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs Committee on the recent flooding events.
Our response focuses on the increased risk of flooding as a result
of climate change and the responses to reduce this risk.
2.1 UKCIP is a boundary organisation that
was established in 1997 by the UK Government to help UK organisations
assess how climate change might affect them and how they might
adapt to the unavoidable impacts. We co-ordinate and integrate
stakeholder-led assessments of climate change impacts and adaptation
at a regional and national level, and provide tools (such as the
UKCIP02 climate change scenarios; a risk, uncertainty and decision
making framework; and a costings methodology) and guidance throughout
the process for both stakeholders and the researchers. Within
the UKCIP framework, regional scoping studies on climate change
impacts have been undertaken for all parts of the UK, and regional
climate change partnerships have been established. Sectoral studies
focused on a number of areas of activity have also been undertaken.
Further information on the UKCIP tools and studies is available
from our website (www.ukcip.org.uk).
3.1 A number of studies have examined the
changing flood risk in the UK and found that it is likely to increase
as a result of climate change. The most recent large-scale study
of the risk was the Foresight Flood and Coastal Defence Report
published in 2004. UKCIP would like to remind the Committee of
this changing flood risk and encourage them to bear this increasing
risk in mind when considering the lessons learned and how we can
better respond to flooding events.
3.2 UKCIP also believe the enquiry should
include a focus on solutions that are informed by concerns related
to climate change. It is important that the options considered
to better manage flood risk do not increase the risks for others
or the vulnerability from other non-climate risks. By this we
mean that there is a need to recognize that the spatial and temporal
nature of flood risks and the implications of adaptation options
both in the location they are intended to protect and the surrounding
areas. The approach needs to be consistent with adaptation as
part of a sustainable development approach.
3.3 We would also encourage the Committee
to consider the applicability of how other countries respond to
flood risk. For example, we are aware that New Zealand has a much
more structured approach to responding to natural disasters and
suggest that there could be lessons to be learnt from how other
countries respond to such events.
UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP)