Scientists are clear that urgent action is needed on climate. At the Paris Summit in 2015, world leaders agreed to limit rises in global temperatures. And yet climate change barely troubles domestic politics. Since then, I’ve interviewed over 20 members of the UK parliament, and one message has emerged with striking clarity: the electorate are not asking their representatives to act. Read more
Tag Archives: floods
Until the floods this weekend I was feeling frustrated by the lack of news from the COP21 Paris Conference about climate change. Climate change seemed marginal to the more immediately pressing and vital concerns of Syria, refugees and terrorist attacks. Read more
This post is by Green Alliance associate Rebecca Willis and also appears on her website.
I write this in the aftermath of Storm Desmond, which battered my home town of Kendal this weekend. I am lucky to live up a hill and, over the weekend, our house filled with flood refugees. We hunkered down to watch films as the wind howled outside. Today, a sizeable portion of my town is still under water. Schools are closed, which my kids obviously think is brilliant. But across the county of Cumbria, the devastation is truly terrible. It is only this morning, as the waters subside, that the extent of the damage to homes, livelihoods, transport and infrastructure is becoming clear. Read more
Last winter’s storms and floods, during the wettest winter on record, put the reality of climate change at the top of the political agenda. At the same time that Ed Miliband was tackling David Cameron on the issue at prime ministers’ question time, local areas around the country were asking how they could be better protected in the future. Read more
This post first appeared on The Staggers, the New Statesman’s politics blog.
Economics is not called the dismal science for nothing. As we watch the shocking images of filthy water pouring into homes and distressed residents leaving in rubber dinghies, economists are already debating what this means for the next GDP figures. This highlights the shortcomings of GDP as a measure of economic progress, but looking at the wider economic impacts can help us deal with the challenges posed by the floods. Read more
Today is the last day to apply to be the new chair of the Environment Agency. Chris Smith stands down in July and interviews for his replacement are to be held in April. Faced with storms of both a physical and political nature, and coming after painful budget cuts, it is hard to imagine many people will want the role. Yet, the Environment Agency’s job remains one of the most important of any public agency and we need its top team to be able to continue to show brave but nuanced leadership. Read more