ABI Launches Campaign for ‘Flood Free’ Homes

January 21, 2015

the Association of British Insurers announced that it has launched a campaign for Flood Free Homes, “supported by Friends of the Earth, Know Your Flood Risk, National Flood Forum, and the Property Care Association’s Flood Protection Group.”

The ABI said the aim of the campaign is “to raise the issue of long term flood defense investment and land and water management.” It is seeking to invest £1 billion [$1.511 billion] per year by 2025 to be spent managing flood risk in order to keep pace with climate change.”

It also hopes to see the adoption of a “zero tolerance of inappropriate new developments in areas at risk of flooding,” and to achieve a “cross party consensus on ambitious long term solutions that manage all types of flood risk.”

The announcement noted that “flooding has long been recognized as the greatest natural threat the UK faces. With Environment Agency data showing around 2 million homes in England and Wales at flood risk now from the rivers and sea, with over 500,000 of these at ‘moderate’ risk or greater, and around 2.4 million additional homes at risk of surface water flooding, we know this is a serious problem facing the country today.

“Without action to reduce the risk across the UK, the effect on our homes, businesses, communities, infrastructure and way of life is potentially devastating.”

Huw Evans, Deputy Director General at the ABI, said: “The need for this campaign to address the UK’s rising flood threat has never been more important. No action is not an option. Last winter’s floods highlighted the trauma and devastation flooding brings. How we manage our land and water has to become central to government decision making across the UK, whoever is in power.

“Without adequate long-term investment in flood defense protection that reflects the increasing threat, a zero tolerance towards building in flood risk areas and political agreement, too many communities will continue to live with the constant fear of flooding.”

Guy Shrubsole, Friends of the Earth climate campaigner, added: “With climate change pushing up flood risk, it’s vital that the government massively ramps up its investment in flood defenses and stops building homes on floodplains. It’s not right that the human and economic costs of climate change are pushed onto those most vulnerable to flooding – we need to tackle this huge problem together.”

Paul Cobbing, Chief Executive of the National Flood Forum, explained: “Flooding destroys lives as well a property. Managing flood risk should be a national priority across Government, with everyone playing their part and we still have a long way to go.”

Mary Dhonau, Chair of the Flood Protection Group Property Care Association and Chief Executive of the Know Your Flood Risk Campaign, said: “Extreme weather events are becoming too common place to be ignored, flooding is the biggest natural threat faced by the UK. We urgently need a cross party consensus for managing floods, one that will address all forms of flood risk, one with an ambitious long term goal that will embrace innovation and investment to reduce flood risk.”

Source: Association of British Insurers (ABI)

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