Households in the UK are at increasing risk of flooding and drought due changes in the climate according to a new report.
The report, from the Climate Coalition, draws on expertise from the Priestley International Centre for Climate to highlight how UK homes are being impacted by climate change – and how they can be part of the solution.
Dr Jenny Armstrong and Dr Ben Rabb, Impact Translation Fellows with the Yorkshire Integrated Catchment Solution Programme, authored chapters on the relevant climate science, decarbonisation of housing stock, and improving resilience of households to the impacts of climate change.
In the UK, 1.8 million people are currently living in areas at significant risk of flooding from rivers, the sea and surface water. If the current rate of warming continues, this number is estimated to increase by over 40% to 2.6 million in as little as 20 years.
Around 20% of homes in England already experience overheating even during relatively cool summers. If greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate, hot spells like the summer of 2018 will become normal by 2050, occurring on average every other year.
However, actions that lower the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and improve the resilience of households to the impacts of climate change offer multiple benefits. The report highlights that Working With Natural Processes, such as wetland restoration, removes carbon from the atmosphere whilst increasing resilience to climate change impacts such as flooding.
Green hearts are used to #ShowTheLove. Credit: Hannah Henderson, Christian Aid.
Home Truths: How climate change is impacting UK homes also features a foreword from TV presenter George Clarke, and comments from gardener Monty Don.
Publication of the report marks the launch of the annual #ShowTheLove campaign from the Climate Coalition. Every February since 2015, people are encouraged to show the love for the things they want to protect from climate change, and showcase the ways they can create a safer world for future generations. Actions include making and sharing green hearts, writing to local MPs and starting conversations about climate change.
The Climate Coalition the UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action against climate change. Along with their sister organisations Stop Climate Chaos Cymru and Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, they are a group of over 140 organisations — including the National Trust, Women’s Institute, Oxfam, and RSPB — and 22 million voices strong.
The Priestley Centre has partnered with the Climate Coalition on previous reports, including Gamechanger: How climate change is impacting sports in the UK and Recipe for Disaster: How climate change is impacting British fruit and vegetables.
Main image by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash