Reports of severe flooding around the UK, widely believed to be linked to climate change, pour in. But Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, reports Sophie Morlin-Yron, has sharply cut the budget for coping with the effects of climate change.
A freedom of information request has revealed that the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) is cutting spending for “climate change initiatives” to only £17.2m this financial year. This is 41% less than the year before.
It is feared slashing the funds will mean a greater risk of issues related to flooding and other global warming consequences in the UK. Bob Ward, policy director at the London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute, commented:
“These shocking figures should worry everyone in the UK. Defra is the lead government department for climate change adaptation and is primarily responsible for making the UK resilient to the impacts of global warming, such as increased flood risk.”