CCRA, the UK's first climate change assessment

HR Wallingford led pioneering work for the UK Government to assess climate change related risks up to the year 2100. The Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA), for the first time, presents a comparison of a wide range of climate change risks based on their economic, social and environmental consequences.

Under the Climate Change Act 2008 there is a requirement for the UK Government to carry out an assessment of the risks to the UK of the current and future climate up to the year 2100. HR Wallingford led a large team of experts covering science, economics, stakeholder engagement and communications to produce the assessment on behalf of the UK Government.

Putting in place a pioneering approach

As this was the first assessment of its kind anywhere in the world, a major aspect of the project was to develop a method and seek wide-spread agreement on the risks that needed to be considered. This required the management of a large consortium, to capture a wide range of technical expertise, along with an extensive programme of stakeholder engagement.

The project helped the UK government to:

  • Identify and characterise the impacts of climate change for 11 sectors:
    • health
    • energy
    • transport
    • built environment
    • business, industry and services
    • agriculture
    • forestry
    • water
    • floods and coastal erosion
    • marine and fisheries
    • biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Assess current vulnerability of the different sectors including a consideration of current policies, social vulnerability and adaptive capacity
  • Assess the current and future risks for the 11 sectors, using the latest available climate and population projections for the UK
  • Assess the current and future risks for the Devolved Administrations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), as well as the UK as a whole
  • Provide estimated economic costs of the potential consequences of climate change where possible
  • Produce a suite of reports to meet different stakeholders’ requirements.

The project was started in September 2010 and was completed in the spring of 2012. The main Evidence Report on the risks faced by the United Kingdom was laid before Parliament by the Secretary of State for Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) on 25 January 2012, as required under the Climate Change Act.

Delivering a range of outputs

There was an extensive range of outputs from the project, many of which were peer reviewed by experts in the UK and overseas. These can be accessed from Defra's website and directly from HR Wallingford's website.

Country: United Kingdom

Client: Defra

Value: £ 3.5 million

Type: Consultancy

Status: Complete