The Green Party in Exeter
has warned that the floods witnessed in the Exeter
area could become far more common in future, due to changes in the climate. According
to Met Office figures, Exeter
experienced at least 35% more rain than average in 2012, which was also the
wettest year on record in England.
Andrew Bell, Green Party candidate for St David's and St
James ward in the forthcoming County Council elections, said:
"The Green Party has long argued that the risks
associated with climate change make it imperative that local authorities and the
national government introduce measures to drive down greenhouse gas emissions.
We have long championed measures such as greater energy efficiency, investment
in 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 assisting
local authorities by granting stronger powers to ensure that the new homes and
businesses are built outside flood risk areas. We also need to see substantial
investment in improved flood defences to avoid future destruction, disruption
and misery caused by flooding".
The vast majority
of scientists agree that the high rainfall totals and individual extreme
flooding events seen in 2012 are part of a pattern of wetter winters and more
intense rainfall in the UK as a result of increased greenhouse gas
emissions. Higher winter rainfall and more rain falling at once during
particular winter storms is exactly what climate models have been predicting
for the UK