Skip to main content

Climate Change

Volume 493: debated on Thursday 4 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department has taken to adapt its activities to climate change in the last two years. (277646)

The MOD is involved in the cross-Government Adapting to Climate Change Programme, which brings together and drives forward work on adapting to climate change across Government and the public sector in England. The programme was established in January 2008, and its work includes implementation of the adaptation aspects of the Climate Change Act, such as development of the national Climate Change Risk Assessment. Information about the programme and its work can be found at the following link:

As well as working together to tackle issues that affect all Departments and their work, each Government Department is adapting to climate change in its own operations and policies.

In December 2008 the Ministry of Defence published its climate change strategy, which sets out how the Department will adapt our policy planning, equipment and estate to a changing climate. Information about this can be found at the following link:

The Department has ongoing research into climate change impacts around the globe to determine the potential security threats that may arise as a result of climate change and how our policies and force development may need to alter to reflect this.

For our estate, we are in the early phases of developing a Climate Impacts Risk Assessment Methodology that will consider the risks, incidents and geological effects associated with climate change events. We have begun the first pilot exercise for this model, the findings of which will be built into our long-term strategic development plans.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of his Department's potential gross (a) costs and (b) savings arising from its climate change adaptation measures in the next three years. (277726)

It is not currently possible to provide estimates of the potential costs and savings arising from MOD climate change adaptation measures over the next three years. It has, however, been shown in the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change that timely and well-targeted climate adaptation measures will yield benefits in excess of their costs. Some of these benefits will accrue to Departments as cost-savings over the next three years, and in future years. The main rationale for MOD investment is to address climate risk and contribute to reduction of the UK's vulnerability to longer-term climate change impacts.

The Government is undertaking a Climate Change Risk Assessment and Economic Analysis, which will provide estimates of the costs and benefits of adaptation to the UK. This analysis will be presented to Parliament in 2011.

The Government will also be publishing supplementary appraisal guidance this summer. This will help to ensure that adaptation measures are designed and implemented in a cost-effective manner.