UK faces a future of increased flooding


The Government’s Climate Change Risk Assessment highlights a number of problems the country faces because of climate change. But flooding in particular could see five million people affected by 2080. Charlotte Reid has more.

Flooding will become a major threat for the UK, warns the latest report from the Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The Government’s Climate Change Risk Assessment highlights the top 100 effects of global warming and the impact it could have on the UK.

The study says that if no further precautions are taken, then by 2050, flooding is likely to hit between 1.66m and 3.64m annually. By 2080 these figures increase to 2.43m and 4.98m people affected.

There is already cause for concern about the cost of flooding. The 2007 summer floods cost the economy more than £3bn in England, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI). The effect of this was felt by customers who have been warned that house insurance premiums could rise for homes that are at risk of flooding.

Because of this, the insurance industry is already aware of the impact of global warming. In fact Defra is already working with the ABI to make sure that flood insurance will still be widely available.

Blue & Green Tomorrow has already highlighted a number of ethical insurance companies that make sure to screen the companies that they invest in, or reward their customers’ environmentally friendly behaviour.

Reinsurance companies, a form of risk management that insurance companies have themselves, have long been aware of the dangers of climate change. This is because if climate change continues at the rate it is at the moment then reinsurance companies are expected to make huge losses.

So for the past 20 years Swiss Re, one of the top two reinsurance companies, has been working on ways to gain more of an understanding of climate change.

The Climate Change Risk Assessment is not the first report to say the UK will experience problems with flooding in the future.

Last year, the Met Office released a report highlighting the effects of climate change on 24 developed and developing countries. The assessment of the UK said that if nothing is done then nearly 18m people will experience water shortages and almost 160,000 people will be at risk from coastal flooding.

This shows how close the impact of climate change is. If we ignore this problem then not only are we putting the country and its people at risk through flooding, we are also putting the economy at risk.
So, to put it simply, we should not ignore the problem. To reduce your carbon emissions talk to Good Energy about making the switch from using fossil fuels to home grown renewable energy.

There are also a number of investment opportunities that benefit the environment and help to create a sustainable economy. To find out more talk to your IFA and if you don’t have one then fill in our online form and we will put you in touch with a specialist ethical adviser.