Fourfold rise in flood risk by 2035

14th August 2012


Author

IEMA

Four times as many businesses and households in England could be at risk of flooding in the next 20 years if further steps are not taken to prepare for climate change, says a new report from the committee on climate change (CCC)

According to the CCC’s adaptation subcommittee (ASC), cuts in funding for flood protection are a major cause of the heightened risk.

The ASC estimates that in 2035 only 160,000 properties would be at significant risk of flooding if funding for protection were increased by just £20 million a year, on top of rises to account for inflation.

This compares with 610,000 properties at risk in 2035 from climate change if no action is taken to prepare, says the ASC.

It points out that funding for flood protection is 12% lower for the current spending period, from 2011/12 to 2014/15, compared with the previous period after accounting for inflation.

Flood risk is also rising due to more development on flood plains, with around 210,000 new properties built in areas at greatest risk of flooding over the past 10 years, says the ASC.

In addition, the danger of buildings being flooded as a result of climate change is being exacerbated by the low take-up of measures to protect individual properties from flooding – currently 20–35 times lower than the rate required to safeguard all viable properties – and the rising proportion of gardens being paved over – increasing from just over a quarter of total garden area in 2001 to nearly half by 2011.

“We must take adaptation more seriously if we are to manage the growing risks of floods and droughts,” said John Krebs, chair of the ASC.

“This can be done by investing more in flood defences, and giving serious consideration to where and how we build our housing and infrastructure. Without action for these inevitable weather extremes the country faces rising costs, unnecessary damage and future disruption.”


Transform articles

Cybercrime: A parallel pandemic

David Burrows reports on the rising tide of cybercrime, and explains why an increased focus on business’s social role could help solve the problem

23rd September 2021

Read more

How to Save Our Planet is call to action that aims to equip everyone with the knowledge needed to make change. We need to deal with climate change, environmental destruction and global poverty, and ensure everyone’s security.

23rd September 2021

Read more

Hannah Lesbirel and Beccy Wilson speak to IEMA members about climate anxiety

23rd September 2021

Read more

TED’s back catalogue contains dozens of fascinating insights into how we can preserve our planet.

23rd September 2021

Read more

Greg Webster speaks to Naresh Kumar about the potential of the FlyZero programme, which aims to deliver zero-carbon commercial aircraft

23rd September 2021

Read more

Seven of the UK's 17 key industry sectors are still increasing their emissions year-on-year, and most will miss their 2050 net-zero targets without significant government action, new research suggests.

23rd September 2021

Read more

Estelle Dehon offers her thoughts on the Environment Bill, environmental justice and the need for more thorough guidance on emissions. Simon Wicks asks the questions

23rd September 2021

Read more

Post-Brexit, the UK has the freedom to change its regulation of gene editing technology – and debate around the pros and cons of such a move is under way. Catherine Early reports

23rd September 2021

Read more

Given the proper investment and resources, the UK’s further education system can play a significant role in improving sustainability, argues Charlotte Bonner

23rd September 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert