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Over £62m pledged for flood defences in communities across England and UK on track to host international climate change summit

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Image of a flood sign against a flooded backdrop.

There was widespread coverage this morning of the government’s new flood funding boost in outlets including The Yorkshire Post (p.1),  ITV News Online and Lancashire Post.

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers announced over £62m for communities across Yorkshire, Cumbria, the North East and the South East of England yesterday. The thirteen projects across England will help develop existing flood defences, and will also boost economic regeneration and increase prosperity in those areas. Many of the projects are located in communities which suffered from flooding during winter 2015.

In total, more than 9,004 homes will be better protected against flooding through this round of funding. The extra funding is in addition the government’s commitment to invest a record £2.6 billion over six years up to 2021 to better protect 300,000 homes across the country.

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said:

I am delighted to announce over £60m of additional funding to better protect communities which are vulnerable to flooding, particularly across parts of northern England.

Events this summer have shown that investing in flood risk management is more important than ever, and this funding builds on our long-standing £2.6 billion commitment to better protect 300,000 homes from flooding and coastal erosion over six years.

The Environment Agency has completed construction of more than 500 new flood and coastal erosion schemes since April 2015, better protecting over 195,000 homes and thousands of businesses. By the end of this year, the government will set out its policies to better prepare the country for flood and coastal erosion in a government policy statement. Informed by this policy, the Environment Agency will update its national Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy, which sets out a long term plan for tackling, preparing for and adapting to the additional risks that climate change will bring.

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency and UK Commissioner on the Global Commission on Adaptation said:

This extra funding will help us to go even further in our mission to better protect communities up and down the country from the terrible effects of flooding. We will work closely with these communities to design and build projects which not only reduce flood risk but which also benefit wildlife and the local economy for decades to come.

This vital investment comes on the same day that the Global Commission on Adaptation has released a report which issues a rallying cry to the international community to invest more in climate resilience including better protection for flood risk.

The Environment Agency’s draft FCERM Strategy seeks to move the nation from a concept of protection to one of resilience.

UK on track to host international climate change summit

Image of sun in a blue sky
Photo credit: Getty Images
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution

On Tuesday, the UK received a major boost for our global action to tackle climate change after receiving the backing of other nations for Britain to host the UN’s 26th climate change conference.

This announcement has received positive coverage in the i, Guardian, and BBC News.

The 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) in 2020 will bring together more than 30,000 climate experts, campaigners, entrepreneurs, and world leaders in Glasgow to agree ambitious coordinated action to tackle climate change. The UK’s nomination is expected to be formally accepted at COP25 in Chile in December.

Welcoming the announcement, Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said:

This nomination represents a major step towards the UK hosting the 26th Conference of Parties in 2020, and once again demonstrates how the UK is not only taking action at home, but is also leading the world in collective action to protect our environment.

COP26 will be an pivotal moment in the global fight against climate change, and I hope that we will be able to agree the urgent coordinated action that is necessary to reverse the damage that has already been done and cope with the effects that we are already experiencing.

The UK is already leading the world in tackling climate change. We are the first major economy to legislate to become a net zero emissions economy, committing to a target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

We are also leading the world in driving international action to tackle climate change. This announcement follows the PM’s commitment at the G7 Summit in Biarritz to ensure that the COP26 Summit addresses both climate change and biodiversity as two sides of the same coin.

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  1. Comment by William Hughes-Games posted on

    I wonder if it wouldn't be more cost effective not to mention less soul destroying, to use that 62m to move homes out of the flood zones and turn them into agriculture or parks or wild life refuges.