Weather: Disaster Relief

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 3 March 2020.

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Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Labour, Slough

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to improve the resilience of (a) national infrastructure and (b) local communities in the face of extreme weather events.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government recognises the importance of identifying and preparing for a wide range of emergencies that could occur in the UK including extreme weather events.

The Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat undertakes an assessment of the likelihood and potential impact of a range of different civil emergency risks (including naturally and accidentally occurring hazards and malicious threats) that may directly affect the UK in the short term. A public version of this assessment known as the National Risk Register is available online at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-risk-register-of-civil-emergencies-2017-edition.

Lead Government departments and Local Resilience Forums use these risk assessments to plan for, and improve the resilience of national infrastructure and local communities to, extreme weather events, alongside a wide range of other risks.

The National Risk Register also signposts advice and guidance on what members of the public can do to prepare for these events.

The National Infrastructure Commission has been commissioned to produce a resilience study, to be published this year, which should support the integration of resilience approaches into infrastructure policies and plans.

Our second National Adaptation Programme (NAP), published in 2018, sets out how we will address climate change risks, including risks relating to extreme weather events, in the following five years. The NAP includes actions in a wide range of areas, including dedicated chapters on Infrastructure, and People and the Built Environment. Our second NAP is available online here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/climate-change-second-national-adaptation-programme-2018-to-2023.

The Government is currently providing support to over 90 organisations which have committed to report under the third round of the Adaptation Reporting Power, on actions they are taking to strengthen preparedness for climate change risks. This includes infrastructure providers, utilities and regulators across energy, water, transport and telecommunications sectors.

Over the current six-year programme of work, the Government is investing £2.6 billion to better protect the country from flooding. This is funding over 1,000 flood defence schemes, which will better protect 300,000 homes by 2021.

The Government pledged £4 billion over five years for flood defences in its manifesto. Defra will continue to work with the Environment Agency to consider future investment needs ahead of the Budget announcement on future floods funding on 11 March.

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