LONDON – The UK Environment Agency on Wednesday urged world leaders to take decisive action to tackle climate change, issuing a stern warning ahead of a United Nations summit in Glasgow this month, at which some 20 000 delegates from almost every country will discuss ways to tackle potentially disastrous global warming.
“It’s adapt or die,” said Emma Howard Boyd, president of the government agency. in a report to the British government.
Deadly floods like the one in Germany this summer will happen sooner or later in Britain, regardless of the height of the country’s flood defenses, she warned, urging to adapt homes and workplaces to make them more resistant to the effects of increasingly severe weather conditions. by the climate emergency.
“If mitigation can save the planet, it is adaptation, preparedness for climate shocks, that will save millions of lives,” she said.
Even if countries manage to meet the target of limiting the average temperature rise to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels – the target set in the 2015 Paris Agreement – the report says winter precipitation is expected a further 6 percent increase and summer precipitation down 15 percent in the 2050s compared to the last two decades of the previous millennium.
In Britain, around four million people and some £ 200 billion, or $ 272 billion, in assets are at risk of inundation due to rising rivers and seas if no action is taken. taken, the report warned.
The agency said it was working with government, businesses and communities to strengthen flood defenses and coastlines over the next six years.