09 Feb 2011 11:02:03
Report warns of climate change impact on infrastructure
Climate change could cripple UK infrastructure in the future if action is not taken to mitigate its effects, a new report has warned.
Engineering the Future was presented to the government's chief scientific advisor this week and states, unless measures are taken to protect infrastructure, climate change "could have seriously detrimental effects on UK society and the economy".
Lord Browne of Madingley, president of the Royal College of Engineering, which compiled the report, said: "Climate change is a genuine risk. While efforts must continue towards mitigating its effects, we need to think very carefully about how we adapt to the changing climatic conditions that are anticipated over the coming century."
He added that engineering "is one of the best chances we have" of dealing with issues such as rising sea levels.
Last year, the Met Office dramatically revised its worst case scenario for rising sea levels, more than halving its prediction to 6ft from 13ft.
The report noted the vulnerabilities in energy, transport, communications and water infrastructure, warning of a possible "cascade effect", where the failure of one system impacts on another, causing serious damage to the economy.