The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2012

CCRA 2012

Geographical coverage

Geographical scale of the assessment National
Country or countries covered United Kingdom
Any other necessary information or explanation for identifying the location of the assessment, including site or region name

England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

Conceptual framework, methodology and scope

Assessment objectives

The overall aim of the CCRA was to inform UK adaptation policy, by assessing the main risks (threats and opportunities) posed by the current climate and future climate change for the UK to the year 2100.

Mandate for the assessment

An independent analysis funded by UK Government and Devolved Governments and the first of a series of assessments required by The UK Climate Change Act 2008.

Conceptual framework and/or methodology used for the assessment

Other (please specify)

UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) Risk and Uncertainty Framework (UKCIP, 2003) formed the over-arching conceptual framework, but the method was developed as part of the project. Evidence for over 700 potential impacts of climate change in a UK context were reviewed. Detailed analysis was undertaken for over 100 of these impacts across 11 key sectors, on the basis of their likelihood, the scale of their potential consequences and the urgency with which action may be needed to address them.

URL or copy of conceptual framework developed or adapted

The conceptual framework and detailed method are described in the Methodology Report that can be downloaded from:

System(s) assessed

  • Marine
  • Coastal
  • Island
  • Inland water
  • Forest and woodland
  • Cultivated/Agricultural land
  • Grassland
  • Urban
  • Moorlands

Species groups assessed

Terrestrial, marine, freshwater

Ecosystem services/functions assessed


  • Food
  • Water
  • Timber/fibres
  • Ornamental resources
  • Wild species diversity


  • Air quality
  • Climate regulation
  • Moderation of extreme events
  • Regulation of water flows
  • Regulation of water quality
  • Erosion prevention
  • Pollination
  • Pest and disease control
  • Soil quality

Supporting Services/Functions

  • Habitat maintenance
  • Nutrient cycling
  • Soil formation and fertility
  • Primary production

Cultural Services

  • Recreation and tourism
  • Sense of place

Scope of assessment includes

Drivers of change in systems and services


Impacts of change in services on human well-being


Options for responding/interventions to the trends observed


Explicit consideration of the role of biodiversity in the systems and services covered by the assessment


Timing of the assessment

Year assessment started


Year assessment finished


If ongoing, year assessment is anticipated to finish

Periodicity of assessment


If repeated, how frequently

Repeated every 5 years

Assessment outputs


Devolved Administration Reports and Summaries - see

Method report

Recommendations report

Reports and Summaries for each of the eleven sectors - see

Summary of the key findings from the CCRA

The CCRA UK Government Report

The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2012 Evidence Report

Communication materials (e.g. brochure, presentations, posters, audio-visual media)


Journal publications

Hames D, Panzeri MC, Ramsbottom D, Townend IH, Wade SD, 2012, The UK's first climate change risk assessment and the implications for the coast , In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Coastal Engineering, Coastal Engineering Research Council, New York, Paper No.762, pp. 1-9.

Jerry W. Knox and Steven D Wade. 2012. Assessing climate risks to UK agriculture. Nature Climate Change 2, 378-378 doi:10.1038/nclimate1538

The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment: analysis of the water sector, Hurford, A., Wade, S.D., Rance, J. and Ramsbottom, D., Paper presented at the 4th Yangtze Forum, Nanjing, China, 19th April 2011

The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment, Wade, S.D., Lovell, J., Townend, I.H., Lewis, R., & Ramsbottom, D., Paper presented at the International Symposium on Climate Change and Water, Nanjing Hydraulics Research Institute, Nanjing, China, 20th/21st April 2011

Wade, S.D., Rance, J. and Reynard, N. 2012. The UK climate change risk assessment 2012: assessing the impacts on water resources to inform policy makers. Water Resources Management. 10.1007/s11269-012-0205-z

Training materials

Other documents/outputs

Foresight International Dimensions of Climate Change Report (BIS website)

Method for undertaking the CCRA Part II – Detailed Method for Stage 3: Assess Risk

Met Office report, Climate: Observations, projections and Impacts

Tools and processes

Tools and approaches used in the assessment

  • Modelling
  • Geospatial analysis
  • Indicators
  • Scenarios
  • Economic valuation
  • Social (non-monetary) valuation
  • Risk assessment, risk metrics, systematic mapping, UK climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) Risk and Uncertainty Framework (UKCIP, 2003).

Process used for stakeholder engagement in the assessment process and which component

  • Sector specific workshops
  • Devolved Administration workshops
  • Online feedback
  • CCRA Forum (cross-sector, private, public and NGOs)

Key stakeholder groups engaged

  • Policy-makers
  • Government agencies
  • Key service providers
  • Private sector
  • Non-government organisations

The number of people directly involved in the assessment process

More than 1000

Incorporation of scientific and other types of knowledge

  • Scientific information only
  • Resource experts (e.g. foresters etc)
  • Traditional/local knowledge

Supporting documentation for specific approaches, methodology or criteria developed and/or used to integrate knowledge systems into the assessment

Assessment reports peer reviewed


Policy impact

Impacts the assessment has had on policy and/or decision making, as evidenced through policy references and actions

The UK CCRA Evidence Report has been laid before Parliament in line with the requirements of the Climate Change Act 2008. The government will be setting out proposals and policies for responding to the risks identified in the CCRA through the National Adaptation Programme (NAP) (covering England and reserved, excepted and non-devolved matters), to be published during 2013. Government reports can be downloaded from: . A further economic analysis has recently been completed to supplement the findings from the CCRA to inform Government about the case for further action and the costs and benefits of a number of options for adaptation to climate change. The reports for this project can be found here:

Independent or other review on policy impact of the assessment


Lessons learnt for future assessments from these reviews

Yet to be determined

Capacity building

Capacity building needs identified during the assessment

A detailed adaptive capacity assessment across all sectors was undertaken as part of the CCRA. The publication of the final report for this is pending.

Actions taken by the assessment to build capacity

How have gaps in capacity been communicated to the different stakeholders

Knowledge generation

Gaps in knowledge identified from the assessment

Gaps in knowledge identified from the assessment are listed p.306-308 of the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2012 Evidence Report. These are discussed further in the Recommendations Report.

How gaps in knowledge have been communicated to the different stakeholders

Gaps in knowledge are communicated p.306-308 of the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2012 Evidence Report

Additional relevant information