Another government report -- this time commissioned by the environment department -- warns that strengthening coastal and river flood defences in England and Wales to withstand the effects of climate change could cost £1.2 billion over the next 50 years. The report follows the first findings of a study by Environmental Resources Management which assessed priority areas for adapting to climate change in the UK. It is believed to be the first study of its kind in the world. ERM's preliminary report also concludes it is cheaper to design new buildings and infrastructure, such as electricity supply, to withstand climate changes than to strengthen existing assets. Even so these changes could add 1-5% to current construction costs.