From the new (26 November 2018) Met Office report on the challenge of climate change in the UK:
‘The projections will be factored into the UK’s flood adaptation planning and the Environment Agency’s advice to flood and coastal erosion risk management authorities.
Since 2010 government has invested a record £2.6 billion in flood defences, and we are on track to protect 300,000 more homes from flooding by 2021.
Chair of the Environment Agency, Emma Howard Boyd, said: “The UKCP18 projections are further evidence that we will see more extreme weather in the future – we need to prepare and adapt now, climate change impacts are already being felt with the record books being re-written.
“It is not too late to act. Working together – governments, business, and communities – we can mitigate the impacts of climate change and adapt to a different future.
“The Environment Agency cannot wall up the country, but will be at the forefront – protecting communities, building resilience, and responding to incidents.” ‘
Whether this event is due in some part to climate change may be impossible to know for sure, but there is no doubt that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent across the world. Now is the time to prepare Oxford for that future.
The planning application for the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme is being scrutinised; if approved Oxford’s flood risk will be reduced. Without it Oxford will remain largely undefended and future generations will rightly ask why something wasn’t done while the opportunity was there.
Nearly 200 countries, developing and developed, and including oil and gas producers, reached agreement at the COP21 conference in Paris to address climate change. This looks like the beginning of the end for fossil fuels.
The deal requires that countries should stem greenhouse gas emissions, with the goal of peaking emissions as soon as possible and continuing the reductions as the century progresses. The aim is to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2°C by 2100, ideally keeping the rise below 1.5°C.
The deal will encourage trillions of dollars to be spent adapting to the effects of climate change – including of course flooding – and developing renewable energy. Developed countries are to send at least $100 billion each year to developing countries beginning in 2020.
The agreement gives countries leeway in determining how to cut their emissions but they must report how they are doing. Progress will be reviewed every five years.
Some elements, like reporting requirements, are legally binding, others, such as the setting of emissions targets for individual countries, are non-binding.
This is potentially a game-changing agreement and has been widely welcomed. Hopefully the catastrophic possibility of irreversible and escalating change can be averted. Nevertheless, climate change is here with us and we can expect to see its effects on weather patterns continuing for the foreseeable future, with increased flooding a prominent result.
Let us hope that the implementation of the Paris agreement is as good as promised.
We are again facing possible property flooding in the area, maybe tomorrow, Christmas Day. For some this would be the second time in two months, and the fifth time in 12 years. While EVERY flooded home is serious, homes which are at risk of flooding repeatedly deserve particular priority. Action has been taken in some local areas but others remain at high risk. It would be ideal to have 1 in 100 year protection for everyone, but as that is unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future, we need smaller schemes now for those worst affected. We cannot wait for jam tomorrow. This needs money. While the government’s recently announced 120 million pounds extra (nationally) for flood relief schemes is welcome, much more is needed, without delay.