Monday, July 16, 2012

Business in UK must future-proof against extreme weather (UK): Companies must consider the risks and opportunities provided by more 'freak' weather patterns, according to business leaders.  The UK has been subjected to droughts and floods already this year, but while the economic impact is not yet known a new report suggests ill-prepared businesses will struggle to survive.

According to the Adaptation Sub-Committee (ASC) of the Committee on Climate Change, four times as many businesses and households could be at risk of flooding in the next 20 years.  The risks have been exacerbated through an increase in development in the flood plain and a reduction in private and public spending on flood defences.

Lord John Krebs, ASC chair, said adaptation to climate change, including floods and droughts, needed to be taken more seriously.  He encouraged more investment in flood defences, faster roll-out of water meters and urged "serious consideration to where and how we build our housing and infrastructure", adding: "Without action by households and businesses to prepare for these inevitable weather extremes the country faces rising costs, unnecessary damage and future disruption."

The Environment Agency estimates that funding on adaptation needs to increase by £20 million on top of inflation to keep pace with climate change. Responding to the ASC report, the Agency's chair Lord Smith said the weather extremes this year have brought the importance of resilience into sharp focus. ..

Ironbridge flood defenses, shot by David Stowell, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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