Brotherhood of St Laurence
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July 2011

This Foresight Report has used available evidence and expert opinion to consider the effects of climate change that could occur outside of the UK, but which could give rise to threats and opportunities that need to be considered by UK policymakers. It complements other reports which have considered both the direct impact of climate change within UK borders and the consequences of various mitigation strategies for the UK. These assessments, however, do not consider the political, economic and social impacts on the UK from changes taking place elsewhere in the world. This Report aims to fill that gap. Climate change is expected to act as a 'risk multiplier', interacting with other trends. It is likely to make it even more difficult to address poverty, disease, and food and water insecurity. In particular, rising temperatures and changing patterns of precipitation may affect the availability of food (including crops and livestock) and water, leading to more hunger and increased volatility in food prices, and heightened regional tensions, affecting international stability and security. An increased frequency of extreme weather events may adversely affect human health, disrupt the flow of natural resources and commodities, and threaten global infrastructure for transport and energy. Moreover, the inherent uncertainty of these various impacts is likely to increase risks significantly in the business and financial sectors.



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