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Supporting the UK Government’s statutory assessment of the risks posed to the UK by climate change


In 2008 the UK became the first country in the world to have a legally binding, long-term framework to cut carbon emissions and build the UK’s ability to adapt to climate change. Under the Climate Change Act, every five years the Secretary of State presents an assessment of the current and forecast risks posed to the UK by climate change. Forest Research was a Sector Champion, supporting the first Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) within the forestry industry.

In July 2016 as part of the second CCRA, due in 2017 the Adaptation Sub Committee of the UK Climate Change Committee published a new independent report to Government – the ‘UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017 Evidence Report’. This reviewed and summarised the key risks and opportunities arising for the UK from climate change, updating the first CCRA. As with the first CCRA, Forest Research lead forestry sector input to the report.

Forest Research involvement

In the first CCRA (2012) as Sector Champion, Forest Research carried out consultations and studies among stakeholders to support risk assessments for the forestry sector. This work involved:

  • Stakeholder engagement – building on existing networks and good working relationships
  • Sector evaluation – determining the current “state-of-play” in the forestry sector regarding climate change issues
  • Feedback – critical input regarding the CCRA’s proposed risk methodology and framework, especially its relevance and effectiveness for forestry

Contributions from Forest Research are included in the National Adaption Programme, the UK Government’s direct response to CCRA which outlines policies and initiatives under six broad themes: Built environment; Infrastructure; Healthy and resilient communities; Agriculture and forestry; Natural environment; Business and local government.

For the CCRA 2017 Evidence Report FR contributed information for the chapter on “Natural Environment and Natural Assets” which considers the risks and opportunities from climate change that affect the natural environment. It aims to highlight important adaptation-related links between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning with the many goods and services which people derive from the natural environment. This includes risks and opportunities for wildlife, agriculture, forestry and fisheries across terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine environments.

Publications and deliverables

You can find information on the Climate Change Risk Assessment process at


This work was funded by Defra and the Forestry Commission.




James Morison

Related pages

  • Climate change adaptation
  • Forests and climate change (Forestry Commission)

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