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Climate Change report informs Government activity for rest of the century
The report addresses all areas of Welsh life that will be affected by a changing climate. The Welsh Government is committed to addressing these issues and in many areas is already making good progress in managing and reducing risks.
In March, the Environment Minister, John Griffiths, will publish the first Climate Change Strategy for Wales Annual Report. This will provide an update on the action the Welsh Government is taking to address the causes and consequences of climate change.
Speaking during a visit to the Environment Agency’s flood incident room in Cardiff, the Minster said:
“This report highlights the biggest risks facing us in Wales and allows the Welsh Government to plan sustainably for the future. The findings of the report will inform decision making across all portfolios.
“For Wales, the Risk Assessment identifies some opportunities for Wales that are likely to emerge as a result of a changing climate, but the findings indicate that these will be vastly outweighed by the costs of managing adverse impacts. One of the big threats for Wales is increased flooding.
“Not all flooding can be prevented but we can manage risks and reduce consequences. Last year, we published our National Strategy for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management to raise awareness of the risks and reduce the consequences.
“With almost £50 million from the European Regional Development Fund we are driving a programme of over £100 million to reduce flood and coastal erosion risk to over 3,000 properties through the construction of 29 schemes across Wales.”
Chris Mills, Director Environment Agency Wales, said:
"Climate change will mean more extreme weather with an increased risk of intense rainfall, and much drier summers.
"We are likely to see more frequent and serious flooding. This will not only affect those whose homes are flooded directly. Flooding also hits food production, electricity and water supplies, hospitals, schools and the places we work.
"This assessment identifies these risks and their potential impacts. We already take climate change into account when we build and maintain our flood defences and when balancing how much water is taken from our rivers for people and for the wildlife that lives there.
"What is now clear is that everybody will need to review their own risks and plan to adapt to the pressures that climate change will bring."
The main opportunities for Wales identified in the CCRA relate to an extended tourist season and the potential to increase visitor numbers, increased crop yields, and a likely fall in winter deaths as a result of milder temperatures.
The key findings of the report can be read on the Welsh Government’s website.