The impact of climate change was notable recently in the form of a heatwave and there are concerns about low reservoir levels, but an increasingly volatile climate is also expected to see many more floods in the future.
As a result, business insurance in Stafford and other at-risk areas could become significantly more expensive as extreme weather events become more common, according to a report by JBA Risk Management.
It has predicted that costs could rise by as much as 42 per cent between now and 2050 as the chances of a one-in-200 year flood event grow.
This projection is based on a model featuring an intermediate emissions scenario, in which some action is taken to cut global emissions, but not enough. Another projection, based on little or no action being taken, predicts worse flooding and an 87 per cent rise in costs.
Climate Change Commercial Lead at JBA Risk Management Judith Ellison said: “Our latest UK Flood Model has been developed using new methodology and the latest UK Climate Projections from the Met Office.”
As Stafford Council has noted, many parts of the borough are low-lying, close to rivers and at considerable flood risk, so firms will need to seek out the best possible business insurance deals with regards to provisions for flood damage.
The JBA projections indicate the greatest risk in Stafford and other places in the west of the UK will indeed be river flooding, whereas more easterly areas will face a greater peril from coastal floods. This warning about a growing coastal threat echoes the latest report from the Met Office, which has been published this week – the State of the UK Climate 2021.
According to the report, since the start of the 20th century the average UK sea level has risen by 16.5 cm. More significantly, however, the rate of increase has accelerated in recent years, from 1.5 mm a year in the 1900s to between three and 5.2 mm a year – depending on location – in the last 30 years.