House of Lords Library

Threats Presented by Climate Change

Published Thursday, January 17, 2019

This House of Lords Library Briefing has been prepared in advance of the debate due to take place on 24 January 2019 in the House of Lords on the motion moved by Lord Teverson (Liberal Democrat), “that this House takes note of the threats presented by climate change”.

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This briefing considers risks arising from climate change—identified as increasing at both global and national level—and summarises recent coordination efforts and programmes intended to mitigate them. International bodies charged with examining the scientific evidence have identified risks associated with:

• changing weather;
• rising sea levels;
• land and marine-based biodiversity and ecosystems; and
• human systems such as health, security and the economy.

Negotiations on how to meet these challenges have continued, most recently at a United Nations summit in Katowice, Poland, held in December 2018.

The UK has identified several priority climate risk areas including:

• flooding and coastal change;
• health, wellbeing and productivity;
• water supply shortages;
• natural ecosystems, soils and biodiversity;
• food production and trade; and
• new and emerging pests and diseases.

A selection of recommended reading, including detailed evidence reports, is identified at the end of the briefing for further information on this broad and evolving subject.

Lords Library notes LLN-2019-0005

Author: Thomas Brown

Topic: Climate change

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House of Lords Library

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.