Page last updated at 04:58 GMT, Thursday, 25 March 2010

More needed in climate change fight, MPs say

Cockermouth (November 2009)
The UK needs to be more prepared for extreme weather, the committee says

Far more needs to be done by the government to help the UK adapt to climate change, MPs have said.

The Environmental Audit Committee says a programme to "retrofit" homes to make them more energy and water efficient and resilient to flooding is required.

Its report says adapting to climate change needs to become as much of a priority as cutting emissions.

Projections suggest wetter winters, drier summers and more flash-floods, heat waves and droughts are likely.

Planning conditions

The committee echoes a call at the Royal Society for major infrastructure projects to be built to cope with weather events even worse than predicted.

The government must be imaginative and establish new and sustainable sources of funding and support for adaptation
Tim Yeo, EAC chairman

Speakers there said the Treasury had not yet been persuaded of the case.

In its report, the committee says not enough has been done to make homes and infrastructure adaptable to possible changes in the climate.

The MPs also suggest that spending on flood defences may have to increase from its current £600m a year to £1bn by 2035.

By the end of the century about £7bn may be need to be spent on improvements to the Thames Barrier and tidal defences, they add.

The cross-party committee said housing developments should only receive planning approval if they are designed to suit future changes in the climate.

Committee chairman Tim Yeo said: "For a long time the climate change debate has focused on reducing carbon emissions, but adapting to the inevitable impacts of rising global temperatures is equally critical.

"Even if all the world's power stations were switched off tomorrow, past emissions mean that some climate change will still take place and we will face more floods, droughts and heat waves.

"The government must be imaginative and establish new and sustainable sources of funding and support for adaptation."



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