The Environment Agency has said England must prepare itself for more floods and droughts, rising sea levels and more pressure on water supplies from climate change.
In a dire warning ahead of the Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow, the government agency claimed that adaptation measures – ensuring the country is resilient to the inevitable effects of climate change – are now as important as action to cut carbon emissions.
More and more environmental events – such as floods, water scarcity and pollution – are now inevitable, as the natural world cannot adapt as fast as the rapidly changing climate, the agency warned.
Its president Emma Howard Boyd said it was a matter of “adapt or die”, warning that England would face the deadly floods seen in Germany this summer if the country did not prepare itself.
Ms Howard Boyd also said that, despite the UK government’s intention to focus on adaptation at Cop26 next month, the issue was in danger of being “seriously underdiagnosed” by the world at large.
In a gloomy report submitted to Boris Johnson’s government, the public body said traditional flood defenses would not be able to prevent all floods and coastal erosion across England.
Population growth and climate change will also drive demand for water, meaning that if no further action is taken between 2025 and 2050, resilient public water supplies will require an additional 3.4 billion liters of water per day.
The agency’s report warns that with 2C of global warming – well below the level of warming for which the world is currently on track – England’s winter rainfall will increase by about 6 percent, but by 2050 summer rainfall by 15 percent. will decrease.
It also predicts that with 2C warming, London’s sea level could rise by between 23cm and 29cm by 2050 and by about 45cm by 2080. If the global temperature rises by more than 2 °C, the sea level could rise by 78 cm by 2080.
The Environment Agency said it is working with the government, businesses and communities to promote flood protection and with offwater, which monitors water supplies.
The public body said it will restore and build peatlands, wetlands and other habitats to create resilient spaces for wildlife, reduce flood risk, improve water quality and promote access to green spaces for people. was also concentrating.
Ms Howard Boyd said: “The climate crisis is global, but its impact is in your village, your shop, your home. Adaptation action also needs to be integral to government, businesses and communities, and people will soon question why this is not the case. “
She continued: “While mitigation may save the planet, it is adaptation, preparing for climate shocks, that will save millions of lives. Choosing one over the other based on simple either/or calculations is about letting a bird know. As it needs only one wing to fly.”
The Environment Agency leader said the country was “running out of time” to bring in effective adaptation measures, adding: “Significant climate impacts are inevitable. We can successfully deal with the climate emergency if we do the right things.” “
The warning in the Environment Agency’s third adaptation report comes as Labor urged the prime minister to “begin to be a politician” or risk failure in Cop26.
The opposition party claims Mr Johnson has failed to take the summit seriously or be “clear enough” with the British public on the scale of action needed to address the climate crisis.
And in line with Mr Johnson’s decision to take leave for talks, Labor’s shadow business secretary Ed Miliband will say in a speech on Wednesday: “It is time for the prime minister to get off his sun lounger, become a politician and go to Glasgow.” Make it the success we need.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /