An international group of experts today released a new independent assessment of the risks of climate change, designed to support political leaders in their decisions on how much priority to give to the issue.
The report, which was commissioned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, applies the principles of risk assessment used in finance and national security to better understand and communicate the risks of climate change. It recommends that climate change risk assessments should be updated regularly and communicated to political leaders at the highest level.
Speaking at the report’s launch at the London Stock Exchange, Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay said:
When we think about keeping our country safe, we always consider the worst case scenarios. That is what guides our policies on nuclear non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, and conflict prevention. We have to think about climate change the same way. Unlike those more familiar risks, the risks of climate change will increase continually over time – until we have entirely eliminated their cause. To manage these risks successfully, it is essential that we take a long-term view, and that we act in the present, with urgency.
The report, ‘Climate Change: A Risk Assessment’ is available online.
The report was commissioned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and co-sponsored by the China National Expert Committee on Climate Change, the Skoll Global Threats Fund, the Global Challenges Foundation, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, and Willis Research Network. This launch event was co-sponsored by the London Stock Exchange and hosted by Nikhil Rathi, Director of International Development.
The lead authors of the report are Sir David King, the UK Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change; Professor Daniel Schrag, a member of the US President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology; Professor Zhou Dadi, a member of the China National Expert Committee on Climate Change; Professor Qi Ye, Director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Centre for Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University, China; and Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, one of India’s leading climate and energy policy think tanks. In total, the report includes contributions from over 40 scientists, as well as from experts in security, finance, and economics, from eleven different countries.