Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Flood Re in the UK 'significantly underestimates' climate change impact

Compliancy Services (UK): Hundreds of thousands more homes at risk of flood than modelled. The plan to create a claims pool and limit premiums for homes built in flood plains could be unsustainable because it vastly underestimates the number of properties at risk as a result of climate change, warn academics from the London School of Economics (LSE).

The government’s Flood Re proposal assumes that about 500,000 properties in the UK will need to be covered by the scheme, which will cap premiums for at-risk homes.

But the LSE study points out that according to the government’s own climate change risk assessment, as many as 800,000 homes could be at a significant risk of coastal or river flooding in a decade, with the number rising to 1.5 million by 2050.

“The design of the Flood Re scheme has not taken into account adequately, if at all, how flood risk is being affected by climate change. “For this reason, it is likely to be put under increasing pressure and may prove to be unsustainable because the number of properties in future that will have a moderate and high probability of flooding has been significantly underestimated,” said Dr Swenja Surminski in the paper...

Botley Road in Oxford, 2007, shot by John Barker, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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