Could some of our UK counties be under water by 2050?

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We have previous written about Climate Change and the links between sea level rising, poverty and modern slavery.  However, based on current trends and projections , sea level rise is expected to continue throughout the next several decades leading to 2050 and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that global sea levels will rise by 0.29 to 1.10 meters by 2100, relative to the average sea level between 1986 and 2005.

Whilst it’s difficult to predict with certainty what sea level rise will look like in 2050, it is likely to be somewhere within this range.  However, the exact amount of sea level rise will depend on several factors, including the rate of global warming, the melting of glaciers and ice sheets, and changes in ocean circulation patterns.

The rise in levels have a significant impact on our coastal communities and infrastructure, including increased flooding and erosion, as well as more frequent and intense storms.  Governments, organisations and individuals are already taking steps to adapt to these changes, however much more can be done to mitigate and reduce our impact

Climate Central has released a new version of their digital elevation model which is a high-accuracy and high resolution global coastal elevation model.  The new software has a reduced bias and error scatter compared to previous models.

The map demonstrates communities as far inland as Peterborough, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire would be underwater by 2050.  Communities alongside the River Thames whilst other communities including Portsmouth, Eastbourne and parts of Brighton also stand to suffer the impacts of sea level rising.

The Environmental Agency has set out it’s own risk management strategy to support the nation for flooding and coastal changes.  However, what can we do as procurement professionals to help? Below are some examples:

  1. Conduct a supply chain risk assessment: Procurement teams can start by assessing the risks associated with sea level rise, including the impact on operations and infrastructure.  This can help identify areas that are most vulnerable and require immediate attention.
  2. Drive your suppliers to adopt sustainable practices: Procurement teams must work with suppliers to help them with the adoption of sustainable practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change. This could include setting targets for reducing carbon emissions and encouraging the use of renewable energy sources.
  3. Ensure supply chain resilience: Procurement teams can work with suppliers to ensure that their supply chains are resilient to the impacts of sea level rise, such as flooding and storms. This could include working with suppliers to identify alternative transportation routes and storage facilities.
  4. Review insurance policies and business continuity plans: Procurement should review insurance policies for their suppliers to ensure that they provide adequate coverage for the risks associated.  This could include coverage for flood damage and business interruption.
  5. Monitor and adapt: Procurement teams should monitor the changing risks and adapt their strategies accordingly. This could include updating risk assessments, revising supplier requirements, and encouraging suppliers to investing new technologies and infrastructure.

By taking these and other measures, procurement teams can help mitigate the impacts of sea level rise and ensure the resilience of their supply chains and operations.