Can London weather the storm?

Posted on 30/03/15 by Chrysostomos Meli

The London Assembly Environment Committee report, ‘Come rain or shine: London’s adaptation to the risks of severe weather’ warns that thousands of seasonal deaths during moist winters and scorching summers are expected to become the norm.

The report makes a number of recommendations to ensure London can adapt, including:

-The Mayor should lobby for these better regulations, making the case for, and helping to develop, standards that are fit for London’s current and future climate. The Mayor should work as necessary with others such as the London Climate Change Partnership, the Core Cities, the Zero Carbon Hub, the Environment Agency, and the Committee on Climate Change.

-Thames Water should provide the Committee with an assessment of its drainage network’s ability to deal with heavy rainfall events.

-The Mayor should press for standards and regulations to promote flood-resistant buildings in flood-prone areas, especially those identified in recent work by Drain London.

-The Mayor should produce an action plan update to the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, showing how his own programmes will ensure London is better prepared for severe weather.

LCCP is already working with the GLA to achieve those goals, for example through the dissemination of our publications The Business Case: Incorporating adaptation measures in retrofits and A Checklist for Retrofits: Measures to incorporate when planning a retrofit as well as with the current review of the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy’s actions, which LCCP is peer-reviewing.

Stephen Knight AM, Chair of the Environment Committee said:

The Committee has heard from leading climate change experts and the message is clear – London’s summers are getting hotter and drier, and winters milder but wetter. Within this trend, however, heatwaves, droughts, storms, flooding and cold snaps are all becoming more frequent.

This has implications for the way in which we build the large number of new homes needed in London. The Mayor’s programme of retrofitting, where existing homes are made more energy efficient, is also not hitting its targets.

The Committee recognises that whilst it’s not possible to completely eliminate the risks associated with severe weather, measures can certainly be taken to help London ride out the storm when it hits.

You can find out more information about this report on GLA’s website.