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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 March 2007, 09:49 GMT
Cash plea to EU for coastal areas
Happisburgh cliffs
Land along the East Anglian coast is in danger of erosion by the sea
A plea for financial help for people living in vulnerable coastal areas or low lying regions of East Anglia has been made to European officials.

The East of England Regional Assembly has asked the European Commission for support for areas hit by floods caused by severe weather or global warming.

It has presented a document on these issues to the EU Maritime Task Force.

The assembly claims rising sea levels, coastal erosion, climate change and poor transport are causing hardship.

The assembly's document said coastal and low lying areas also face economic, social and environmental problems.

Members of the assembly's Europe and International Affairs panel have now taken their case to Brussels by responding to a European Commission Maritime Green Paper.

We want to ensure that the economies in the coastal areas can continue to grow and that the people living there have a good quality of life
Celia Cameron

The document was this week presented to John Richardson who heads the Maritime Task Force.

Celia Cameron, co-chair of the regional assembly's Europe and International Affairs Panel, said: "The region's coastal districts have a population of 1.46 million people and the East of England's seven seaports provide a major gateway to the rest of Europe.

"We want to ensure that the economies in the coastal areas can continue to grow and that the people living there have a good quality of life with access to public transport, skills, jobs and local services."

Latest estimates from the UK Climate Impacts Programme suggest that the East Coast could see further rises in relative sea levels of 40cm (16in) by 2050 and 80cm (32in) by 2080.

The number of properties at risk of flooding in eastern England rises by 48% from 270,000 to 404,000 following a rise in sea levels of 40cm.

"It is estimated that an additional 8bn will have to be spent on the East Coast alone to defend it from the sea," an East of England Regional Assembly spokesman said.




SEE ALSO
Coast examined after flood alert
14 Feb 05 |  Norfolk

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