Report identifies risks to UK infrastructure

8 February 2011

A report published today highlights the serious damage which climate change could cause to UK society and the economy by crippling vital services such as electricity, roads and broadband.

The report calls for a more joined up process of decision making in Government and a new approach to sharing information in the commercial sector. It also identifies a key role for engineering in meeting the challenges posed.

'Infrastructure, Engineering and Climate Change Adaptation - Ensuring services in an uncertain future' examines vulnerabilities in energy, transport, communications and water systems and identifies vulnerabilities that affect the infrastructure system as a whole. 

It examines 'cascade failures', when failure in one service has a domino effect on others, will cause major disruption and have significant economic impact if action is not taken to build resilience into vital infrastructure networks. 

The report identifies ways to prevent and prepare for such events.

The report was written for Defra and prepared from the perspective of the engineering profession with input particularly from the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Chemical Engineers, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Royal Academy of Engineering. 

It was published on behalf of the Engineering the Future alliance, of which the Institute of Physics is a member.

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