'20,000 homes' at risk as Lincolnshire coast faces challenges of climate change

Sea levels are rising faster than predicted, according to UN report.
Sea levels are rising faster than predicted, according to UN report.

A landmark report released today claiming sea levels such as those along the Lincolnshire coast are rising faster than predicted has been welcomed by the Environment Agency.

According to the Environment Agency, current flood defence work in the county "reduces flood risk to 20,000 homes, 1,700 businesses, 24,500 static caravans, 35,000 hectares of farmland and a bustling tourism industry.

The report from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states emissions of greenhouse gases are causing glaciers and ice sheets to melt and could result in regular flooding - but the Environment Agency says it is "an important contribution to our work to better understand the impacts of climate change on our coastline".

More than 100 scientists from 36 countries worked on the report - titled the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.

Environment Agency Chair, Emma Howard Boyd, said: “We welcome this report as an important contribution to our work to better understand the impacts of climate change on our coastline. The climate emergency means we are faced with rising sea levels and more frequent and intense flooding and we must act now to adapt to these challenges.

“As set out in our draft Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy launched in May, we must continue investing in our flood and coastal defences whilst also ensuring that our homes, businesses and infrastructure are resilient to the increasing risks that climate change will bring. We believe a nationwide flood resilience standard is the best way to do this.

"Our current flood defence work on the Lincolnshire coast reduces flood risk to 20,000 homes, 1,700 businesses, 24,500 static caravans, 35,000 hectares of farmland and a bustling tourism industry.

"It involves annual work to replace sand lost naturally to the sea and put it back onto the beach – you can get more info here.

"Meanwhile, we’ve been carrying out a review of our coastal flood risk strategy for the coast to make sure it’s sustainable, cost-efficient and effective into the future. Earlier this year we held a consultation on the shortlist of options, and we are currently reviewing the responses,

"We are looking to publish our new strategy for managing flood risk on the coast for the next 100 years in 2020."

In the meantime, Ms Howard Boyd said: ""We’d remind everyone to sign up for our free flood warnings so they have time to take action to protect themselves and their families if flooding is expected. Visit www.gov.uk/flood or call 0345 988 1188."