Climate change like ‘World War Three’

Climate change a battle that must be fought like 'World War Three', says Environment Agency

THE BATTLE TO deal with climate change needs to be fought like ‘World War Three’, the head of the Environment Agency has warned.

Lady Young, the agency’s chief executive, said current measures to adapt to a changing climate were ‘too little, too slowly’, and a mammoth effort was neededto address the crisis.

At the agency’s annual conference in London, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn, warned that climate change was not just a threat to the environment, but also to security, politics, migration and economics as well.

Lady Young highlighted the fact that Britain would face more droughts, flooding, coastal erosion and loss of biodiversity as the climate altered, and that measure such as a improving flood-resilience in existing homes, not building on floodplains and improving water use efficiency were absolutely essential.

She also warned that seaside settlements needed help adapting, with rising sea levels and coastal erosion threatening £130 billion worth of property around the coast.

‘This is World War Three – this is the biggest challenge to face the globe for many, many years,’ she said. ‘We need the sorts of concerted, fast, integrated and above all huge efforts that went into many actions in times of war.

‘We’re dealing with this as if it is peacetime, but the time for peace on climate change is gone – we need to be seeing this as a crisis and emergency.’

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