Climate emergency: ‘People will die’ unless communities are moved, EA chief warns

Parts of the UK “could be uninhabitable in a few decades” as a result of the “climate emergency”, Environment Agency (EA) chief executive Sir James Bevan warned yesterday, while promoting a consultation on a draft nationwide resilience strategy.

Speaking at a flood and coastal erosion conference in Telford, Bevan welcomed the government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, but said this would not eliminate climate change-related damage to the country and that communities and infrastructure would be at risk without renewed action.

“Even if we didn’t produce another gram of carbon from this moment on, sea levels will continue to rise for centuries,” he said, adding that the UK needed to prepare for a “different future”, concluding that the “best way to predict the future is to invent it”.

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