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UK to take “at least” £16bn annual hit over climate change

Britain will be the third country in the world to take the largest losses due to flooding and erosion

UK to take “at least” £16bn annual hit over climate change

New research shows the UK is going to be the third worst-hit global economy from the financial effects of climate change.

Britain is set to take “at least” a £16bn hit per year by 2050 from the impoverishment of natural assets, according to the Global Futures study by the WWF.

READ: As Sainsbury's makes its green pledges, smaller-caps need to act to remain attractive, say experts

It will be mostly caused by declining natural coastal protection services leading to flooding and erosion, as well as declining fish stocks harming the fishing industry, the report's authors said.

Globally, the impoverishment of natural assets will cost at least £368bn a year, with the US and Japan counting the biggest losses due to flooding and erosion.

Coastal protection and carbon storage will come at the annual expense of £251bn and £98bn respectively.

“We need urgent, global leadership and immediate action to change the way we use land, to invest in the restoration of nature, to cut emissions and critically to stop destroying forests for food production,” said Katie White, executive director at WWF.

“This needs to be backed in the UK with bold policies to cut our global footprint and future trade deals that clearly reject deforestation and other poor agricultural practices.”

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