Pto fix. Act. To survive.
This is the opinion of the Environment Agency on climate change. But is the country prepared?
Britain has woefully underfunded climate adaptation efforts, leaving its infrastructure at the mercy of extreme weather events, officials and experts warn.
July was a month of flooding, heat and more floods. The last few days have been a sharp reminder that the weather is more and more difficult to predict and that its balance sheet is expected to increase further in the years to come.
Net zero commitments to reduce carbon emissions have started to hit the public, as they face significant changes in their homes and lifestyles.
But the problem of actually living with climate change is often treated like the Cinderella of climate history, even though its sudden and acute effects have never been so glaring.
This is the case even if attempts, like the Paris Agreement, manage to slow the rise in global temperatures to 2C or even 1.5C.
Last week, the Met Office issued its first amber extreme heat warning. Images of flooding at metro stations on Sunday followed closely the death and destruction in Germany and Belgium.
While Britain has not seen the level of damage recently suffered by its European neighbors, it is only a matter of time, believe those charged with managing the impact of climate change. This means that the government must spend money at an unprecedented level if it is to alleviate the economic devastation of extreme weather conditions.
Flooding over the past 20 years has cost insurers billions of pounds, left many homes uninsurable and devastated communities. Meanwhile, the extreme heat is a silent killer, with deaths potentially causing an economic blow of £ 323million per year by 2050 with estimates reaching £ 9.9bn, according to a Committee estimate on the climate change (CCC). And the land prone to flooding is still used to build houses.
But this is in part due to a fundamental misinterpretation of the likelihood of flooding and other extreme weather events, according to Allan Beltran-Hernandez, an environmental economics researcher at the London School of Economics.
People often think “that one event in 100 years means that another will not happen for 100 years. But the probabilities are independent of each other. So if an area experiences the worst flooding it has ever seen in a century, it is just as likely that the following year will not also experience such severe or worse flooding.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency, which covers England, said The independent that it was investing “record amounts” to help protect communities from the threat of flooding. But he added that “additional investments” will be needed in order to be “more resilient to climate change”.
But there is one problem, officials unofficially agree: No one even knows how expensive this climate change adaptation problem is. The Environment Agency does not know how much to ask.
There is no figure that can be easily found to illustrate the full cost of climate change to the UK, says Kathryn Brown, head of climate adaptation at CCC, an independent statutory body established under the 2008 Climate Change Act. It is intended to advise the government on emission reduction targets and preparedness for the impacts of the climate change emergency on the UK.
“The reason we don’t have it is in large part simply because the government didn’t fund a study with enough resources to find out what that number is,” says Brown.
Brown is trying to quantify the risks Britain faces from climate change and measure them against efforts to mitigate those risks. Every five years, the government must publish a climate change risk assessment. The latest, produced in May this year, had a scorecard for the impact on infrastructure in the event that the global average temperature is tempered by 2C or 4C. Using a range from Very High, costing billions per year to Low, costing less than £ 10million per year, the scorecard is confusing.
The government should be prepared to spend billions each year by 2050 to defend key infrastructure against flooding, according to the report. Increases in temperature will sometimes bring too much and too little water. The report predicted costs of at least hundreds of millions each year to try to manage risks to public water supplies from water shortages.
He has already spent more on flood defense, £ 5.2bn over the next six years, than on his leveling fund, £ 4.8bn through 2025. Still, that doesn’t work. not even scratch the surface of the required adaptation, experts say. And this is only intended to combat flooding and not their combined impact with issues such as extreme heat.
In a separate report to parliament released in June 2021, the CCC said of government efforts that “overall progress in planning and implementing adaptation does not keep pace with growing risk.”
“The UK does not yet have a vision for successful adaptation to climate change, nor measurable targets to assess …
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This notice was published: 2021-07-27 01:19:44