Pandemic Threat Extreme Weather Conditions Among Key Threats To UK


UK (Parliament Politic Magazine) – A new government register has identified a range of key risks facing the UK, including future pandemics and extreme weather events caused by climate change. The purpose of this register is to assist the UK in preparing for worst-case scenarios related to these serious threats. Notably, this publication shares previously classified information and is the most transparent register to date.

One significant risk highlighted in the National Risk Register, produced by the Cabinet Office, is the potential harm posed by advances in artificial intelligence (AI) systems. Officials warn that these advancements could lead to chronically harmful misinformation and disinformation, as well as a decline in the UK’s economic competitiveness.

UK To Plan To Combat Worst Case Scenarios

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden, who heads the Cabinet Office, emphasized that the purpose of this register is not to create alarm but to provide reasonable worst-case scenarios. By doing so, businesses and organizations, ranging from the Red Cross to local government, can effectively plan for potential risks.

To assess the impact and likelihood of each risk, extensive data modeling and expert analysis were utilized. Likelihood is measured on a scale of one to five, with a score above 25% indicating the highest chance. However, it is important to note that all risks considered in the register are relatively low likelihood events.

For non-malicious risks, such as weather events or accidents, the likelihood is assessed over a five-year period. In contrast, for malicious risks, such as terrorist attacks, the time frame is two years. There are also looming malicious threats and risks that could cause a serious concern for the safety of the country. 

Chances Of Future Pandemic To Be 5% to 25%

The most recent version of the register, published in December 2020 during the Covid pandemic, estimates the chance of a future pandemic to be between 5% and 25%, with potentially catastrophic consequences. Impact assessments for weather events, such as heatwaves and storms, range from significant to moderate, with likelihoods ranging from 1% to 25%.


Climate change has already impacted the risk of extreme weather events in the UK, according to the latest report. The evidence suggests that storms are becoming more frequent and intense, posing a significant threat to the country. In addition, coastal areas are at greater risk of erosion due to rising sea levels, threatening homes and livelihoods.

Additionally, the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia has raised concerns about potential disruptions to global energy supplies, which is now listed as a public risk. Climate change in the UK indicates that summers could be worse in the coming years. 

Climate change is undeniably having a significant impact on the UK, and it’s time to take notice. From hotter summers to increased flooding, the consequences are becoming increasingly apparent. The rise in global temperatures has led to heatwaves becoming more frequent and intense, causing discomfort and health risks for many. 

However, the report states that the likelihood and impact of this threat are relatively low, with assessments ranging from 0.2% to 1% and moderate, respectively. Similarly, the malicious use of drones is identified as another potential threat, but it is also considered to have a low likelihood and impact.

Read More: DVLA Launches Digital Account for Drivers That Will Allow Easy Access Vehicle Details and Driving License

Threats That Are Serious Risks 

The register of risks includes 89 threats that could have a significant impact on the safety, security, or critical systems of the UK. Among these threats are risks to undersea transatlantic telecommunications cables, which are crucial for internet and communications.

The new register categorizes the risks into nine groups, including terrorism, cyber attacks, state threats, geographic and diplomatic disruptions, accidents and system failures, natural and environmental hazards, human, animal, and plant health risks, societal challenges, and conflict and instability.

To assess the risks, the register takes into account recent high-profile events. For instance, the assassination of Conservative MP Sir David Amess in 2021 is considered in the evaluation of the likelihood of an attack on a public figure, which is estimated to be over 25%.

To launch the new list, Mr. Dowden will visit the Able Seaton Port facility in Hartlepool, which is managed by energy supplier SSE and is currently overseeing the installation of a towering wind turbine that stands at 853 feet (260 meters) high.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.