ABI calls for £30bn flood investment

The government needs to spend £30bn over the next 25 years to shore up the UK's flood defences, acco...

The government needs to spend £30bn over the next 25 years to shore up the UK's flood defences, according to the Association of British Insurers.

Head of household and property Jane Milne declared that the ABI will continue to lobby the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs over the comprehensive spending review, which has been delayed until autumn, and demand a spending increase.

"£750m a year is needed by 2011 and that needs to go on increasing," said Ms Milne, adding that the Environment Agency will also push for an increase as part of the CSR. "We are happy that the Climate Change Bill now has a clause on adaptation and isn't purely about emissions, but we will continue to lobby government on this and many other issues relating to climate change," she said. For example, the water utilities regulator Ofwat will carry out its 2010 price review next year and we expect it will take climate change into account. The 2005 review did not but the West London floods were a timely reminder that they should do."

Ms Milne added that there has been pressure for action in Europe, where flood cover is not provided in most countries. "The floods directive is expected to complete its passage through parliament this summer; however, the Comite Europeen des Assurances has lost some expertise with recent departures."

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