• UK’s Third Climate Change Risk Assessment forecasts 2C warming would reduce GDP by 1% year by 2045;
  • REA calls for increased investment in renewables and clean tech;
  • Urges Government to bring forward measures on CfDs, heat decarbonisation and hydrogen production targets.

The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) has responded to the UK’s Third Climate Change Risk Assessment forecast that 2C warming would reduce GDP by 1% a year by 2045, by calling for an acceleration in the deployment of renewable energy and clean technologies to reduce emissions.

The new report assesses dozens of impacts the UK might face due to global temperature increases through to 2050 and 2080, outlining the likely risks in two warming scenarios of 2C and 4C.

Risks include water scarcity; loss of agricultural productivity; risk to health and wellbeing; coastal erosion and flooding; and risks to finance, investment and insurance. The report also assesses the impact of the UK being exposed to international risks caused by the climate crisis, affecting trade and investment.

For eight of the risks assessed, economic damages will exceed £1bn each year by 2050, even if warming is limited to 2C. The report states the total hit is likely to be at least 1% of GDP in a 2C scenario when all the risks are assessed.

The REA says that the report underlines the substantial economic hit that will occur if key Net Zero targets are not met, and that measures – such as adopting six monthly CfD auctions for all pots – need to be quickly implemented.

Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, Chief Executive of the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA), said:

“The Government’s own risk assessment confirms that, even if global warming is limited to 2C, it would still wipe out 1% of GDP a year by 2045, underling the huge impact to the UK economy if the Government fails to meet its Net Zero targets.

“That is why we need to urgently see a new raft of measures to help accelerate the energy transition, such as the adoption of six monthly CfD auctions for all pots, bringing forward the 5GW hydrogen production target, and stepping up plans for industrial and non-domestic heat decarbonisation.

“The report is clear – the size of investment needed to safeguard our future is modest in comparison to the damage caused by the worst climate change scenarios should we fail to reduce emissions.

“Rapidly accelerating the energy transition isn’t just an environmental imperative, but an economic one too.”


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Notes to editors

  • The Climate Change Committee’s Sixth Carbon Budget (Pg 239) states: “The transition to Net Zero emissions will be capital-intensive, with increased upfront spending that in turn yields ongoing savings in fuel costs. Much of these investments and savings will come from and go to the private sector, both businesses and individuals. Overall, we find that the net costs of the transition (including upfront investment, ongoing running costs and costs of financing) will be less than 1% of GDP over the entirety of 2020-2050, lower than we concluded in our 2019 Net Zero report.” https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/sixth-carbon-budget/

About the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA):

The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (known as the REA) is the UK’s largest trade association for renewable energy and clean technologies with around 550 members operating across heat, transport, power and the Circular Economy. The REA is a not-for-profit organisation representing fourteen sectors, ranging from biogas and renewable fuels to solar and electric vehicle charging. Membership ranges from major multinationals to sole traders.

For more information, visit: www.r-e-a.net