Press Release: Medway Greens back MEP in criticising “utterly inadequate” response to extreme weather

Keith Taylor, the Green Party MEP for South East England has labelled the Government’s response to the flooding as ‘inadequate’ and called for the Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, to be sacked by David Cameron.

As Medway experiences record rainfalls, and strong winds, and with neighbouring towns and villages under water, the Medway Green Party has urged the Government to heed the warnings of South East Green MEP, Keith Taylor. Keith Taylor calls for serious consideration of climate change related weather conditions, including a reversal of flood defences spending cuts and the sacking of the Environment Secretary.

Keith Taylor says:

“The Government’s planning for this flooding, and their response since it began, has been utterly inadequate. We have known for a long time that climate change will cause more events like this, yet we were utterly underprepared for these devastating floods.

If the Government is serious about tackling flooding in the future then they must both work to develop flood defences and, crucially, do everything in their power to cut our addiction to climate changing fossil fuels.

The fact is that the Government’s Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, has cut funding on measures aimed at protecting Britain from global warming and he repeatedly fails to take climate change seriously.

In the short term the Government can do two things to help the fight against flooding. Firstly they should reverse cuts to the Environment Agency and secondly they should sack Owen Paterson, an Environment Secretary who just isn’t up to the job of protecting our environment.”

Evacuations due to predicted flooding, and episodes of flooding, were experienced in Strood, Rochester and Gillingham late last year. Severe weather warnings were issued by the Met Office this week with predicted rainfall (on Wednesday) a third of a month’s normal rainfall for this time of year along with 80 mph winds.

The Met Office’s chief scientist has said that climate change is likely to be a factor in the extreme weather that has hit much of the UK in recent months (1). Evidence suggests that we can expect more of this kind of extreme weather in the future (2).

Keith Taylor’s call for Owen Paterson to be sacked comes after he was accused by environmental groups of ‘incompetency’ after slashing spending on measures to help Britain cope with global warming.

ENDS

Notes:

(1) Met Office: Evidence suggests climate change link to stormswww.bbc.co.uk

(2) The elimination of the volume of Arctic sea ice is likely to bring in permanent change towards extreme weather conditions such as drought, flooding, cold spells and heat thinkprogress.org

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