26 February 2014
The UK’s response to the flooding crisis must centre on a long-term strategy to address climate change, the Green Party said on Friday. It recommends a series of measures to improve the country’s flood resilience. Mark Chivers, Chairman of South East Dorset Green Party, welcomed the comments made by party leaders.
Mr Cameron has said he wishes to get a grip on the situation. We believe that to do this he needs to ensure that the ministers responsible for environmental issues accept the scientific consensus on climate change and are prepared to take the necessary measures to combat it. The Met Office has said all the evidence points to climate change contributing to these extraordinary floods.
“Politicians who ride roughshod over the painstaking findings of climate scientists, sometimes motivated by their inappropriately close links to fossil fuel big business, endanger our future and our children’s future”, said Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett. “It’s a crying shame more of the recommendations made by the The Pitt Review into the 2007 floods haven’t been taken seriously.”
The call to government urges ministers to adopt the recommendations of a major independent cross sector coalition for a Cabinet-level committee on infrastructure and climate change resilience and a Royal Commission on the long-term impacts of climate change on land.
The Green Party is also calling for all staff cuts at the Environment Agency to be cancelled, planning rules to be strengthened to prevent further development on flood plains, and for increased levels of spending on flood defences in line with expert recommendations from the Environment Agency and the Climate Change Committee.
It is also supporting the call of campaigners for the billions of UK fossil fuel subsidies and tax breaks to be used to help the victims of flooding.
“This redirection will address the underspend and assist the victims of flooding, as well as putting a halt to public money exacerbating the problem of climate change that is making the floods so much worse”, noted Ms Bennett.