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Sunday, 15 September, 2002, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
UK faces 'global warming disaster'
Inverness in September, 2001
Motorists must be urged to abandon cars - report
Homes and businesses in Britain are threatened by devastating flooding as global warming takes hold, it has been claimed.

And the government must encourage motorists to abandon their cars if it wants to make any impact on the causes of global warming, a report by the Energy Savings Trust is said to show.

The study into rising seas and increased rainfall concludes five million people and most of the country's best farmland are at risk, says the Independent on Sunday.

The report's findings have been revealed to the government as Europe recovers from some of its worst ever floods.

Glasgow, September 2001
Spells of heavy rain 'more frequent'
And parts of the UK suffered flash floods last week which submerged homes in Inverness, Glasgow and the East Midlands.

The Energy Savings Trust report is submitted to the Department of Trade and Industry, which is preparing a White Paper on Britain's future energy policy.

Researchers describe global warming as "the greatest threat facing the world community".

They say 180,000 businesses, 1.8 million homes and 3.5 million acres covering 61% of grade-one land in England and Wales is at risk, says the IoS - at a cost of 222bn.

'Abandon cars'

Half the properties are in the London region of the Thames - affecting 750,000 people in the capital and putting in jeopardy the city's financial future.

The report calls for increased energy efficiency to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Tony Blair
Politicians urged to take action
And in what the paper claims is the most controversial recommendation, the study urges the government to encourage people to give up their cars.

UK scientists say weather records show prolonged spells of heavy winter rain are becoming more frequent.

Yorkshire has been particularly badly hit, and the River Ouse reached its highest level since records began in November 2000.

At the Earth Summit in South Africa earlier this month, Prime Minister Tony Blair warned the whole world had to face up to climate change.

He rebuked countries like America which failed to sign up to the Kyoto treaty on climate change.

Russia became the latest signatory, which means enough big producers of greenhouse gases have signed up to bring the treaty into effect.

See also:

12 Sep 02 | Europe
12 Sep 02 | Scotland
07 Sep 02 | Business
02 Sep 02 | Politics
Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


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