As storm surge threatens coast, climate risks must be held at bay

14th January 2017

With the eastern coast of England braced for flooding from a storm surge, Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Guy Shrubsole said:

“The east coast has seen terrible flooding as a result of storm surges before, in 1953 and 2013 – but with sea levels rising due to climate change, the risk is getting worse.

“As an MP representing coastal communities in Suffolk, Floods Minister Therese Coffey should appreciate this growing threat. Ministers have been warned that letting global warming run out of control could overwhelm hundreds of kilometres of our sea defences.

“It’s vital the Government publish a tough new Climate Change Risk Assessment this month that starts to prepare the UK for dangerous disruption to our climate.”

Editor’s Notes:

  1. The independent Committee on Climate Change has commissioned research warning that a 1m sea level rise could make 200km of UK sea defences highly vulnerable to failure, leaving 2,100km2 of land at risk of flooding. A 2m rise in sea levels could push this up to 4,100km2 of land at risk of inundation. Blog here, full report here.
  2. The Government’s 2nd Climate Change Risk Assessment is due out 31st January 2017. This publication is a statutory obligation under the Climate Change Act.

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Published by Friends of the Earth Trust