UK government pledges over £5bn for flood protection

14th July 2020

Web coastal flooding istock 472108709

Related Topics

Related tags

  • sea ice loss ,
  • Adaptation ,
  • Investment ,
  • UK government


Finlay Bennet

The UK government has today unveiled a £5.2bn package to better protect hundreds of thousands of properties from flooding over the next decade.

The investment aims to create around 2,000 new flood and coastal defences, helping to boost protection for 336,000 properties in England by 2027 as climate change and extreme weather events intensify.

It includes £200m for innovative projects, such as sustainable drainage systems, and up to £170m for 'shovel-ready' flood defence schemes that will begin construction in 2020 or 2021.

This comes on the same day that the Environment Agency announced that flood warnings would be expanded to all properties at risk by 2022 under its new Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said: “Last winter I saw for myself the misery and upheaval that flooding can bring to lives and livelihoods and I said we would do more to help people.

“This long-term plan will help push back the flood waters and protect hundreds of thousands of homes, businesses and livelihoods. Our record investment will also stimulate economic growth across the UK as we build back better.“

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said that the plan aims to prevent £32bn in economic damage, create areas to store water, and to ensure greater use of nature-based solutions to reduce flood risk.

This is summarised under five government commitments – supported by 40 actions – which include:

1) Upgrading and expanding flood defences and infrastructure across the country 2) Managing the flow of water to both reduce flood risk and manage drought 3) Harnessing the power of nature to reduce flood risk and deliver benefits for the environment, nature, and communities 4) Better preparing communities for when flooding and erosion does occur 5) Ensuring every area of England has a comprehensive local plan for dealing with flooding and coastal erosion.

The plan also sets out changes to the Flood Re insurance scheme, which would allow claims to include an additional amount so that flood resilience measures are included in repairs, and ensure lower premiums for households with property flood resilience measures in place.

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency's new strategy unveils new collaborative partnerships with national road, rail and utilities providers to ensure their investments are flood resilient and benefit the public.

“The clean, green recovery of the economy from coronavirus must have nature at its heart,“ Environment Agency chair Emma Howard Boyd said. “This is a blueprint for using the natural world to build back better so that homes, businesses and infrastructure are more resilient.“

Image credit: iStock

Transform articles

UK climate action disproportionately focused on cities, councils warn

The UK government has been “too city-focused” in its climate action and must provide more funding and support to reduce emissions in rural areas, the County Councils Network (CCN) has said.

22nd September 2021

Read more

COVID-19 offers the world a huge chance to beat a path to sustainability, says Oxford University professor Ian Goldin – but we must learn from past crises, he tells Huw Morris

30th July 2021

Read more

The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.

30th July 2021

Read more

The UK's largest defined benefit (DB) pension schemes have received a letter from the Make My Money Matter campaign urging them to set net-zero emission targets ahead of the COP26 climate summit later this year.

26th July 2021

Read more

The total cost of waste crime in England has increased by 53% in just three years, and now costs the country nearly £1bn annually, a recent study has uncovered.

23rd July 2021

Read more

The oil and gas industry is set to burn through its allocated carbon budget 13 years early unless decisive action is taken immediately, new analysis has found.

22nd July 2021

Read more

Public money spent rescuing economies from the impact of COVID-19 is set to do more harm than good to the environment, new research suggests.

16th July 2021

Read more

The sale of new diesel and petrol heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) will be banned in the UK by 2040 under proposals unveiled in the government's transport decarbonisation plan yesterday.

15th July 2021

Read more

A coalition of investors representing over $6.6trn (£4.8trn) in assets have called for the EU's carbon price to treble by the end of this decade.

8th July 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