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Living with Floods – experts debate the future impact of climate change

Posted on 2 June 2016

Leading environmental scientists, policy-makers, insurance industry leaders, engineers, farmers and city planners will come together to debate how we can prevent - and live with - floods in the future.

York floods (credit: alh1, Flickr)Flooding in York

Recent floods affecting Yorkshire and the North West have brought into sharp focus the effects of climate change on all of our lives. Recent flash floods also affected parts of the South East, Yorkshire and Bedfordshire. What is the likely future impact of climate change? How will it affect decisions on how we use our land?

The risk of flooding is something which is becoming part of many people’s everyday lives. How can we better manage these flood risks? And how can farmers make sustainable changes to combat threats from extreme weather? What kind of policies do we need to ensure better flood risk management and better flood defences?

The Living with Floods event on 11 June is one of seven Festival Focus Days taking place at this year’s York Festival of Ideas.

During the day, our speakers will look to the future and consider the likely impacts of global climate change, not just in terms of the environment, but also its political and social ramifications.

Experts will debate the following:

Ruth Davis, E3G and formerly Greenpeace, will look to the future and consider the likely impacts of global climate change, not just in terms of the environment, but also its political and social ramifications.

The risk of flooding is something which is becoming part of many people’s everyday lives. How can we better manage these flood risks? Professor Sue Hartley, President of the British Ecological Society will be joined by representatives from the Environment Agency,  North Yorkshire Police, Northern Gas Networks and the University of York’s Department of Environment.

Hear how we can maximise our use of land for farming and food production while enhancing its biodiversity and ecosystem services. Professor Dave Raffaelli, Director of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability, will be joined by representatives from the Hagge Woods Trust, Future Farmers of Yorkshire and a leading Earth Scientist.

What kind of houses should we be building and where? Brendan McCafferty, CEO of Flood Re, who work with insurance providers to provide better access to more affordable flood insurance, will be joined by representatives from WSP (builders of the Shard Building), flood community consultants and city planners to discuss how to create more sustainable buildings.

Colin Brown, Professor in Environmental Science at the University of York, said:  "Flooding is a complex problem that demands imaginative and integrated solutions.

“By bringing together experts from a wide range of sectors, the Living with Floods event will make an important contribution to the national debate on how to work together to reduce the impacts of flooding on society." 

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