NWDA chair Gray welcomes DEFRA climate change report

Bryan Gray, chair of the North West Development Agency, the lead Regional Development Agency for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, has welcomed the UK climate change projections report launched by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

In a statement released today, he said: "This report comes at a time when the issues of energy and climate change have become a fundamental global priority, affecting the environment, economy and energy supplies for generations to come.

"NWDA welcomes these new projections, which will provide a vital insight into the specific challenges our country and regions will face. Through adaptation, strong partnership working, business support and sector development activities, the RDAs are well placed to help lay the foundations for a sustainable future."

The report includes a number of probable scenarios for national changes in climate, weather and marine activity due to climate change. It sets out climate projections, based on Met Office science warmer and wetter winters, hotter and drier summers, increased risk of coastal erosion and more severe weather.

The projections show a range of climate change scenarios up until the end of the century based on possible high, medium and low greenhouse gas emissions pathways.

Currently world-wide emissions are equivalent to the medium pathway, although there is a risk we could still be heading for the high scenario. These projections show the probability of potential changes for the UK.

The medium emissions scenario shows that by the 2080s the UK could be faced with:

  • An increase in average summer temperatures of between 2 and 6 degrees C with a central estimate of 4 degrees
  • A 22% decrease in average summer rainfall in the south east, which is already water stressed, and an increase of 16% in average winter rainfall in the North West, with increases in the amount of rain on the wettest days leading to a higher risk of flooding
  • Sea level rise of 36cm

Gray added: "The NWDA is keen to ensure all RDAs commit to hitting Government targets to cut carbon emissions by 34% by 2020. In addition, the RDAs are leading the way through the development of the new Regional Strategies; energy efficiency and carbon reduction activity through Business Link; support for the growth of key sectors such as low carbon technologies; regionally-specific R&D on low carbon energy innovation and improving the sustainability of physical developments."

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