New report highlights need to tackle flood risk facing coastal communities

Published: 25 Oct 2018

By: NIC

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Tables next to an overlowing flooded river in York

The Committee on Climate Change today calls for a long-term approach to protecting communities from the threat of flooding in coastal areas – echoing findings in the UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment.

In their report published today, the Committee on Climate Change warns that over half a million properties are at risk from flooding and coastal erosion – including over 300,000 homes. The Committee underlines that in the future, the number of homes and infrastructure at risk is going to substantially increase.

Recommendations include that local government and the Environment Agency work together with affected communities to develop realistic long-term strategies for tackling the issue, a new approach by central Government to coastal erosion taking in the views of local people, and greater long-term funding to protect coastal cities and infrastructure.

The National Infrastructure Assessment published in July also highlights the growing threat from flooding, including as a result of climate change.  It recommends that the Government set out a strategy for ensuring communities are resilient to an annual likelihood of flooding of 0.5 per cent by 2050, with rolling funding to support it.

Through the Assessment, the National Infrastructure Commission has also called for the Environment Agency to update plans for all coastal areas in England by the end of 2023. These plans will need to show how risk can be managed for all plausible climate futures and line up interventions that are adaptable to different futures.

Responding to today’s report from the Committee on Climate Change, a spokesman for the National Infrastructure Commission said:

“Today’s report underlines the need for a clear Government-led strategy for ensuring communities across the country, including those in coastal areas, are more resilient to the threat of flooding.

“We’re pleased to see that the recommendations from the Committee on Climate Change are in line with our National Infrastructure Assessment, which recommended a national standard of flood resilience supported by a rolling programme of funding. Implementing this standard will require engaging with coastal communities to develop realistic, sustainable, long-term plans.

“We want to see Ministers take up these measures and also ensure that all new development, including along our coastline, is resilient enough to ensure that this risk doesn’t increase in the future.”

Notes to Editors:

Recommendations in the National Infrastructure Assessment relating to floods risk management can be found here

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