EA’s report, published today, assesses the country's preparedness and ability to cope with the variety of risks that climate change poses to the co
EA’s report, published today, assesses the country’s preparedness and ability to cope with the variety of risks that climate change poses to the country. Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the agency, sent a stark warning that urged immediate action. She said: “It is adapt or die.” EA’s report points out that the hundreds of deaths in Germany as a result of severe flooding could be seen in the UK too if we do not change our ways.
Ms Howard Boyd said: “Some 200 people died in this summer’s flooding in Germany. That will happen in this country sooner or later, however high we build our flood defences – unless we also make the places where we live, work and travel resilient to the effects of the more violent weather the climate emergency is bringing.”
The organisation stressed that the UK needs to fix up its act if it is to become more resilient to increasingly extreme weather.
Environment department Defra has said it was taking key measures to protect the UK from the impacts of climate change.
Currently, we are heading towards a rise in the global average temperature of nearly 3C by the end of the century.
The UN’s IPCC report which issued a ‘code red’ for humanity and urged instant action, warned that this temperature rise will be catastrophic.
But while a 3C rise is predicted to cause devastation, even 2C rise would come with serious consequences, according to Defra.
It projected that a 2C would bring winter rainfall up by 6 percent by the 2050s and 8 percent by the 2080s (compared with 1981-2000).
It also predicted that by the 2050s, peak river flows could soar by 27 precent while summer flows plummet by as much as 82 percent.
Scientists have already warned that ignoring the climate crisis will yield “untold suffering” for humanity and even bring about the end of the world as we know it.
They say that although climate change will not directly cause an extinction event, that it could play a huge role, such as by leading to food and water scarcity, which has the potential to trigger a societal collapse and set the stage for global conflict.
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But Ms Howard Boyd said that not all hope is lost.
She said: “We can successfully tackle the climate emergency if we do the right things, but we are running out of time to implement effective adaptation measures.
“With the right approach, we can be safer and more prosperous. So let’s prepare, act and survive.”
EA is calling for new ideas for flood protection and tighter partnerships between government and businesses.
They also want to see projects implemented to restore natural systems that absorb carbon from the atmosphere as well as and hold back rainwater.
The agency also called for trialling new flood warning technologies that alert local communities, as well as closer coordination with other emergency services.
But the Government is making progress, with billions of pounds having already been spent on flood defences, with more funding for projects in the pipeline.
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Defra noted there is a £5.2bn to protect 336,000 properties from flooding and coastal erosion better a national framework to manage water supplies; as well as a £640m Nature for Climate Fund facilitate cooperation in adapting to the impacts of climate change.
As the UK prepares for the climate summit in Glasgow in under three weeks, EA are hoping is that helping communities and nature adapt to climate change and flooding impacts will be a topic of discussion.
With instances of flooding deaths in the past in the UK, it is vital that action is taken now to avoid these deaths from happening again.
Back in 1953, a storm surge killed 307 people in England and 19 in Scotland.
A spokesperson said: “We are taking robust action to improve resilience to climate change across the whole country and economy, and adaptation to climate change is integrated in policies throughout government.
“We’re also using our COP26 presidency to drive climate adaptation around the world, protecting communities and natural habitats.”