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Launching a major long term strategy to tackle flooding and coastal change, the Environment Agency is preparing for a potential 4°C rise in global temperature and has called for urgent action to tackle more frequent, intense flooding and sea level rise.

Among the recommendations in the strategy, the Environment Agency has committed to working with partners to develop consistent standards for flood and coastal resilience across the country. These could include traditional defences, temporary barriers, natural flood management, sustainable drainage systems, effective flood warnings and emergency response, alongside designing and adapting existing properties and new development so they can recover quickly from a flood.

Currently, two thirds of properties in England are served by infrastructure in areas at risk of flooding and for every person who suffers flooding, around 16 more are affected by loss of services such as power, transport and telecommunications. The strategy calls for all infrastructure to be flood resilient by 2050 and the Environment Agency has committed to working with risk management authorities and infrastructure providers to achieve this.

The Association of British Insurers has re-enforced the call for action highlighting that at least one billion pounds a year to bolster physical defences is essential to support the Environment Agency’s plan to protect vital infrastructure as well as property. The representative body states that a lack of major floods in recent years is no cause for complacency. As well as building defences Insurers need to increase awareness of flood risk and encourage home and business owners to put in place their own measures to protect their properties too.

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