Monday, July 23, 2012

Defra opens flood gates to climate adaptation ideas Businesses have the chance to win up to £100,000 by devising solutions to protect national infrastructure such as power stations, water treatment plants and Wi-Fi networks against climate change threats, as part of a new government-backed competition.

A share of the £400,000 total prize fund will be made available to successful candidates to help develop their ideas for addressing the risks identified in Defra's Climate Change Risk Assessment, published at the beginning of the year.

The report found flood risks to buildings and infrastructure are anticipated to rise from around £1.2bn to £12bn by 2070, while rising temperatures are expected to push up energy demands to cool buildings and IT systems.

The competition also aims to highlight the significant market opportunities for growth by developing new materials, products and techniques to protect infrastructure. Defra estimates the adaptation and resilience to climate change is worth £2.1bn to the UK economy and is expected to grow by seven per cent by 2018.

"Roads, railways and our Wi-Fi networks are the building blocks of our economy and we need them to stand up to what climate change can throw at it," said Environment Minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach. "We have seen weeks of heavy rain and flooding across the country which we know is the sort of extreme weather we have to expect in future due to climate change."...

Weir in flood on the River Aire, Kirkstall. Shot by RichTea, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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