The Green Party in Exeterhas warned that the floods witnessed in the Exeterarea could become far more common in future, due to changes in the climate. Accordingto Met Office figures, Exeterexperienced at least 35% more rain than average in 2012, which was also thewettest year on record in England.
Andrew Bell, Green Party candidate for St David's and StJames ward in the forthcoming County Council elections, said:"The Green Party has long argued that the risksassociated with climate change make it imperative that local authorities and thenational government introduce measures to drive down greenhouse gas emissions.We have long championed measures such as greater energy efficiency, investmentin renewables and greening the economy.
"We need to prevent new developments on flood plains,something we are seeing far too much of in the Exeter area.Local councillors must take a stronger stand against such planning applications.Central government, rather than weakening the planning system, should be assistinglocal authorities by granting stronger powers to ensure that the new homes andbusinesses are built outside flood risk areas. We also need to see substantialinvestment in improved flood defences to avoid future destruction, disruptionand misery caused by flooding".
The vast majorityof scientists agree that the high rainfall totals and individual extremeflooding events seen in 2012 are part of a pattern of wetter winters and moreintense rainfall in the UK as a result of increased greenhouse gasemissions. Higher winter rainfall and more rain falling at once duringparticular winter storms is exactly what climate models have been predictingfor the UK