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“Adapt or die”

The Environment Agency (EA) has called on world leaders to step up to their climate commitments and focus on adaptation practices to tackle climate change.

In its third adaptation report to the government, the agency has warned of more extreme weather patterns that could lead to increased flooding and drought events, sea level rises of up to 78 centimetres by the 2080s.

The EA estimates that water supplies will need more than 3.4 billion extra litres of water per day by 2050.

In addition, the report suggests the number of properties on the floodplain in England is expected to double by 2065.

Floodplains are areas that stand adjacent to riverbanks and are covered with water when a river floods its banks.

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said: “The climate crisis is global, but its impacts are in your village, your shop, your home.

“Adaptation action needs to be integral to government, businesses and communities too and people will soon question why it isn’t, especially when it is much cheaper to invest early in climate resilience than to live with the costs of inaction.

“While mitigation might save the planet, it is adaptation, preparing for climate shocks, that will save millions of lives. Choosing one over the other on the basis of a simple either/or calculation is like telling a bird it only needs one wing to fly.”

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