Environment Agency Chair, Emma Howard Boyd, has opened an 8-week consultation period on the recently launched long-term strategy that will tackle flooding and coastal change in the UK.
Launching the strategy, Emma Howard Boyd said “we cannot win a war against water” by building higher flood defenses and called for a new approach to ensure communities are resilient to the threat of flooding posed by climate change.
According to her, the Environment Agency is preparing for a potential 4°C rise in global temperature and urgent action is needed to tackle more frequent, intense flooding and sea level rise.
While unveiling the strategy at Brunel University in London, Emma Howard Boyd said: “The coastline has never stayed in the same place and there have always been floods, but climate change is increasing and accelerating these threats.”
“We can’t win a war against water by building away climate change with infinitely high flood defenses. We need to develop consistent standards for flood and coastal resilience in England that help communities better understand their risk and give them more control about how to adapt and respond,” she added.
The new strategy calls for all infrastructure to be flood resilient by 2050 and the Environment Agency has committed to working with risk management authorities and infrastructure providers to achieve this.
In addition to resilience measures, an average of £1 billion will need to be invested each year in traditional flood and coastal defenses and natural flood management.
The Flood and Coastal Risk Management Strategy consultation is due to run from 9 May 2019 for 8 weeks up until 4 July 2019.
Once the consultation has closed, the Environment Agency will review the responses and publish a final document which will then be laid before Parliament in winter 2019.
This strategy forms part of the government’s commitments set out in the 25 Year Environment plan to improve the environment within a generation, leaving it in a better state than found.