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

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

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
3:19 PM

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.

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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.”

8 comments

  • I just cannot get my head round this idea that if this country met its carbon reduction targets somehow the world`s weather would be all hunky dory. Its a bit like those loony leftie councils who used to label their boroughs as nuclear free zones. As if somehow they would escape the fall out out from a nuclear device. We have had crazy weather for millenniums. You only have to look at historical events and the results of archaeological digs to realise that. What DC actually said was that he suspects etc. No one has definitive evidence to prove the case so its all a matter of pure conjecture.

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    BG

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Whilst our PM m,ight consider that the recent storms are part of an overal global warming trend, his Environment minister Owen Paterson only 'partly suspects' it to be the reason and slightly at odds with the hymn sheet.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, January 12, 2014

  • The evidence points both ways, like all statistics, it can be read to read what ever the person using it thinks. (Ask the UEA) But i do rememmber being taught at school over 35 years ago that islands in the Pacific would be under water due to rising sea levels, in fact the opposite has happened and they are now higher above sea level as the ice at the poles increases in size. Flooding occurs and will be more often in our region, not due to global warming, but due to the fact that the UK is slowly tipping and the South is sinking as the North rises. And the weather is not worse now than 100's of years ago. It is related to sun spots and solar releases.

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    DaveG

    Monday, January 13, 2014

  • someone should remind him that we are the taxpayers and the voters . The euros are very near mr cameron

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    milecross

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Keep it up matey and it'll be linked to government change.

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    alecto

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • This Government is not committed to carbon reduction targets otherwise they would scrap all incinerators tommorrow, rtefrain from new roads after peak oil has past us and would favour communities developing their own energy generation from alternatives. Only when global warming is undeniable will ministers make the right noises, whether it will bring fruitful ideas leading to a national sea defence and flooding policies is to be seen. Britain needs a prioritised rolling program dealing with these reoccuring disasters. The PM should look at the insurance industry's vested interest in these issues and enpower them with alleviating these.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • BG, such selfish attitude is unsustainable, what are you on about. Do you think you should be able to have it all? here and now in this generation? with not much left for those in your family that follow? Are you advocating to ignore our rising sea levels and increasingly chaotic weather patterns and just pay the increasing insurance for it, leave it all to run? withoput using our abilities to change it on a local, national and global level? No one has the evidence if you're not looking, science is pretty much in agreeance now and peak oil has passed, thats one energy source we have gobbled up in less than 200 years. Some people just have no idea of the impact we create.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, January 10, 2014

  • If we wait until global warming in undeniable, then we will be waiting a very long time as all data from recent years says that it has stopped and maybe going the other way. Man made global warming has not and will not ever be proved as it has not happened, it is all down to natural changes. One single volcanic eruption puts out more global warming gas than man could ever think of doing. Even if we procuded zero of these potential hamful substances, it would only reduce worlswide emissions by less than one per cent. Basically we are being taxed and climate change is a non proven excuse for it

    Report this comment

    DaveG

    Friday, January 10, 2014

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