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Prime minister says recent storms, including in Norfolk and Suffolk, may well be linked to climate change

PUBLISHED: 15:19 08 January 2014 | UPDATED: 17:07 08 January 2014

Prime Minister David Cameron visits Wells Lifeboat Station after the floods. Pictured with crew members, left to right, Ray West, Chris Hardy, Allen Frary, Mark Frary, Tony Wailing-Darrell and Niery King.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Prime Minister David Cameron visits Wells Lifeboat Station after the floods. Pictured with crew members, left to right, Ray West, Chris Hardy, Allen Frary, Mark Frary, Tony Wailing-Darrell and Niery King. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2013

The recent storms which have caused flooding and damage in Norfolk and Suffolk, and other parts of the UK, many well be linked to climate change, the prime minister has said.

During the weekly Prime Minister’s Question session David Cameron earlier accepted a challenge by Labour leader Ed Miliband to complete a review, to report back within the next month, looking at the future capability of flood defences and flood response agencies, and to look at whether the investment plans in place were “equal to the need for events of this kind.”

Mr Cameron’s climate change comments followed a question from Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron, who said: “You will know that the science is clear that the extreme weather conditions affecting our communities, including around the Kent estuary, are a destructive and inevitable consequence at least in part of climate change.

“Now given that you have said that this should be the greenest Government ever, will you now agree to support carbon reduction targets so that we can take real action to protect people and property?”

Mr Cameron replied: “I agree with you that we are seeing more abnormal weather events. Colleagues across the House can argue about whether that is linked to climate change or not. I very much suspect that it is.

“The point is that whatever one’s view it makes sense to invest in flood defences... it makes sense to get information out better and we should do all of those things.

“As for carbon reduction targets, this Government is committed to carbon reduction targets. We worked with the last government to put the Carbon Act into place. It wouldn’t have happened without our support.

“We also have the Green Investment Bank up and running in Edinburgh and it’s going to be investing billions of pounds in important green projects.”

Mr Miliband earlier said to the Prime Minister: “Given the scale of risk exposed by these floods and the expected impact of climate change can the PM also commit to Defra providing a report to this House by the end of the month giving a full assessment of the future capability of our flood defences and flood response agencoes and whether the investment plans that are in place are equal to the need for events of this kind.”

“I am very happy to make the commitment.”

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