Birmingham MPs John Hemming, Roger Godsiff and Richard Burden have today said that much more needs to be done to tackle flooding and keep pace with Climate Change, after more than 10,000 homes in Birmingham were found to be at significant risk of flooding.
According to an analysis of Environment Agency data released by Friends of the Earth (EWNI), there are 10,356 homes at flood risk in Birmingham. This includes 2,363 homes which have been judged by the Environment Agency to be at significant risk. This map shows how many homes are at risk of flooding in each constituency across the UK.
Birmingham may escaped unscathed during recent flooding, but this may not be the case next time. Figures also show there is a much larger number of properties in the UK that could face flooding in future as Climate Change takes hold.
Worse still, the Government’s own Climate Change Risk Assessment estimates that almost one million UK homes could be at significant flood risk by the 2020s, up from the 370,000 currently at significant risk nationwide. Yet the Government is spending £500 million less on flood defences than is required to keep pace with climate change, according to its own advisors, while cutting spending on energy efficiency and bringing uncertainty to renewable energy projects.
Our lead campaigner on Energy & Climate Change Jacob Williams said:
“Flooding is devastating for anyone that is affected by it and as a country we must do much more to prepare for the impacts of climate change. Without proper investment in flood defences, hundreds of thousands more homes could be put at risk of flooding.
“Prevention is better than cure, so it’s also vital that the Government redouble efforts to stop climate change becoming worse.
“We are asking Birmingham’s MPs to support the call for flood defences in line with the risks posed by climate change, and for more investment to make homes energy efficient, switch to renewable energy and get off climate-changing and polluting fossil fuels.”
Roger Godsiff MP for Hall Green said:
“The devastation caused by the recent floods should highlight the need for Government action on climate change and flood protection. This Government’s policy of cutting the Environment Agency’s funding and then blaming them for the lack of flood defences is inadequate and unacceptable.
“I am extremely concerned to hear that the homes of some of my constituents in Hall Green are at risk of flooding. We need to take action to protect people all over the UK from the effects of climate change. Rather than giving fracking companies tax breaks and attempting to bribe local councils to permit fracking, we need to start investing in renewables, green energy and green jobs and breaking our dependence on fossil fuels.”
John Hemming MP for Yardley said:
“The recent floods highlight that climate change will result in more rainfall and potentially over time higher sea levels. The focus has to remain on tackling climate change. The links between climate and Carbon Dioxide levels in the atmosphere have been predicted since at the latest 1938, however, action to deal with this has been begrudging. We need to concentrate efforts on dealing with this including reducing energy usage and hence energy bills for consumers by insulation and other efficiency measures.”
Richard Burden MP for Northfield said:
“The recent floods are a wake-up call on the need to do more to protect households from climate change.
“Flood defence spending must take into account the expected impacts of climate change, In coastal areas that means higher sea levels. It means rivers bursting their banks more frequently. In urban areas like mine more rainfall means more homes being flooded when sewers designed for a different climate are not being able to cope.
“So it is so important that when building plans are put to local councils, flood risk is taken seriously rather than being treated as an afterthought. Climate change means open spaces in urban areas will become even more important as natural soakaways. That is why, in my own constituency, along with local residents, I am fighting plans to build on a golf course on high ground above some densely populated housing estates.”