It says sustained political action on climate change is crucial to reducing the risk of severe flooding happening again.
The Party is calling for Environment Secretary Owen Paterson to be sacked and for the Prime Minister to remove Cabinet Ministers and senior government officials who refuse to accept the scientific consensus on climate change (1). The Met Office has said (2) all the evidence points to climate change contributing to these extraordinary floods.
“Politicians who ride roughshod over the painstaking findings of climate scientists (3), sometimes motivated by their inappropriately close links to fossil fuel big business, endanger our future and our children’s future”, said Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett.
“It’s a crying shame more of the recommendations made by the The Pitt Review into the 2007 floods (4) haven’t been taken seriously by Labour, the Tories, and their Coalition government lackeys in the Lib Dem Party. But it is not too late for action.”
Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said:
“Across the country, homes and businesses are being devastated by the floods, and our hearts go out to everyone whose life is being turned upside down. Nature is giving us another wake-up call.
“In addition to making sure everything possible is done to help people affected by the immediate crisis, we need a credible long term strategy to tackle the risk of flooding and extreme weather to people's homes and liveilihoods in the future.”
The call to government urges ministers to adopt the recommendations of a major independent cross sector coalition for a Cabinet-level committee on infrastructure and climate change resilience and a Royal Commission on the long-term impacts of climate change on land.
The Green Party is also calling for all staff cuts at the Environment Agency to be cancelled, planning rules to be strengthened to prevent further development on flood plains, and for increased levels of spending on flood defences to a level in line with expert recommendations from the Environment Agency and the Climate Change Committee.
And it is supporting the call of campaigners for the billions of UK fossil fuel subsidies and tax breaks to be used to help the victims of flooding.
“This redirection will address the underspend and assist the victims of flooding, as well as putting a halt to public money exacerbating the problem of climate change that is making the floods so much worse”, noted Bennett.
1) International Panel on Climate Change Climate Change 2013 Report http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/#.UvuRuf3RozU
4) Pitt Report on floods: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7472813.stm