England’s environment agency issued a harsh warning about climate change
On Wednesday, England’s environment agency issued this dire warning, urging the country to make changes to prepare for flooding, droughts, and other extreme weather events that are being caused by global warming.
After the summer flooding in Western Europe, which scientists say was made more likely by climate change, the message comes before of an important international environment conference in Glasgow, Scotland, which has already claimed the lives of 200 people.
Agency chair Emma Howard Boyd said in a statement that “adaption or death” is the only option. Many lives will be saved by adaptation rather than mitigation, as stated by the World Resources Institute.
Building climate-resilient cities and towns could reduce the death and destruction that the climate crisis is now wreaking, according to the organization. Investing now in climate resilience will be far less expensive than dealing with the consequences of climate change later, according to the report.
As a result of increased global warming, the research warned of higher flooding and drought, elevated oceans, as well as a rise in water demand.
It stated that sea level rise in London was likely to be substantial — up to nine inches by the 2050s and nearly 18 inches by the 2080s.
In Germany and Belgium, rivers overflowed after torrential rains killed 200 people this summer. Howard Boyd warned that England could face the same type of flooding.
A recent study by the World Weather Attribution initiative, an international collaboration of scientists that analyzes extreme weather events around the world, concluded that climate change increases the likelihood of such fatal catastrophes by up to 9 times.
No matter how high flood barriers are built, that will happen unless we also make locations where we live, work, and travel resilient to the effects of more violent weather that the climate emergency is bringing, Howard Boyd said.
New flood and coastal defense systems, according to the agency, are critical for coping with the effects of global climate change.. Restoration of natural habitats that retain rainwater and absorb carbon was also encouraged. It also stated that water utilities must prepare for water shortages and that more must be done to encourage private investment in flood defense systems.
Experts like Oxford University’s Sam Fankhauser said the agency was correct to publish such dire warnings.
It’s true that heat waves and floods can kill and inflict great agony, as he put it on.
As a result, he asserted, “they don’t have to be, if we prepare effectively.” It’s true that adaptation gets less attention than lowering emissions, but these are two sides of the same story.
According to the study, the United Kingdom is just weeks away from hosting the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, which is widely seen as vital in order to contain global warming. One of the summit’s four stated goals is to help communities adapt to climate change.
With more money allocated to improving early warning systems and flood defenses around the world, the COP26 agenda also includes steps to maintain and restore habitats that act as natural storm and flood defenses in times of extreme precipitation.
In an email to NBC News in reaction to the environment agency’s study, the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said that it is taking “strong action” to strengthen the country’s resilience to climate change.
In August, the UN warned that climate change was altering the Earth in ways that were “unprecedented” in human history going back thousands, if not millions, of years. In addition to focusing on risk assessment and adaptation, it provided a more detailed regional evaluation of climate change.