Funding has been announced for research into the impact climate change could have on infrastructure

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has announced that it will invest £6.1m to fund cross-sector research into the impact that climate change could have on the UK’s infrastructure.

The funding announcement comes weeks after a hard-hitting report from the Committee on Climate Change, which warned that the UK is ill-prepared to meet the challenge of more extreme weather events caused by climate change.

The Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC), a team of engineers and scientists co-ordinated by Newcastle University, will analyse a range of potential climate change risks and identify ways in which the UK can protect its infrastructure and continue to meet carbon reduction targets.

Engineering consultant Atkins welcomed the funding announcement. The firm’s climate change consultant Geoff Darch, who is co-ordinating input from a range of experts in the company, said: “The ITRC will provide a multidisciplinary approach to climate change research and modelling, which is key for a thorough understanding of asset resilience and flood risk to critical infrastructure.

He added: “We need to better understand the greatest risks across all our infrastructure networks, particularly to our long life assets such as water treatment works and the road network, so that we can design more accurate and effective resilience strategies and business continuity plans.

It is the first time a project of this scale has been undertaken and the team hopes it will become a vital tool to inform and assist the development of sustainable infrastructure systems across the globe.