The Cumbria floods have prompted this cross – departmental (integrated?) review in to resilience and flooding; even in their press release they seem to have become aware of ‘upstream solutions’.

Defra ‘Environment Secretary announces work to identify additional flood protection measures in Cumbria Work to identify additional flood protection measures for Cumbrian communities affected by extreme weather events like the record rainfall seen last weekend was announced by Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss today.

After seeing first-hand the impact of the flooding in the north of England it is clear that the growing threat from more extreme weather events means we must reassure ourselves, and those communities at risk, that our defences, our modelling and our future plans are robust. The Environment Secretary also announced today a National Flood Resilience Review to better protect the country from future flooding and increasingly extreme weather events. She outlined how her department would look afresh at how we calculate flood risk, in light of recent events, to be delivered by a new cross Government team. This will see Government updating ‘worst case scenario’ planning, considering the future impacts of climate change and carrying out a risk assessment of critical infrastructure, like electricity substations.

The review, also to be published next summer, will be led by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Letwin and include the Government’s Chief Scientist, Defra, DECC, DCLG, HMT and the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency.

This is what extreme events look like.   We know that climate change predictions suggest that we will have more extreme events.

Cumbria: Met Office – Storm Desmond’s records:

The Met Office’s warning re climate change a month ago:

Whilst it might be tempting to kill the messenger, George Monbiot outlines what we instinctively know. We need a fully integrated approach to climate change, energy policy, flood defences, land management and lots more. He points out the contradictions and problems with our current ‘leadership’ on these issues.

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