Sunday, November 23, 2014

Britain left 'exposed' to more floods and heatwaves

Ian Johnston in the Independent (UK): The UK is dangerously "exposed" to increasingly extreme weather brought about by climate change, a leading adviser to the Government has warned.

Professor Lord Krebs, who chairs an expert group of the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC), said thousands of lives could be lost in searing heatwaves, and a lack of spending on flood defences would lead to "unnecessary flood damage" unless action was taken. He called on Britain and other countries to do more to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, saying global warming could have "profound implications" even for wealthy countries such as the UK.

In an article for The Independent on Sunday, on our website, Lord Krebs applauded some steps of recent years, noting that 1.4 million homes were protected, and no one died, in last winter's floods. "And yet," he said, "the UK is still exposed in key areas."

The National Audit Office and the CCC's Adaptation Sub-Committee, which he chairs, have concluded "not enough money is being spent on flood prevention". Lord Krebs said: "As a result, unnecessary flood damage will occur... The current approach in England is to 'build and protect'; to allow development on the floodplain as long as there are flood defences in place," he said. "This simply stores up costs and risks for the future. Indeed, such development is encouraged."...

The English countryside near Cold Moor, shot by Scott Rimmer, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons 2.0 license 

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