As torrential rain once again batters the South West and the region is put on an amber flood warning, Molly Scott Cato MEP has called on the chancellor to invest £15 billion in flood defences over the next 5 years.
The call is part of a response to the autumn statement that the Greens have launched this week. Dr Scott Cato, Green Party speaker for economy and finance and Green MEP for the South West, has developed the party’s investment programme which is dominated by the need to tackle climate change and its impacts.
The flagship of such a programme would be a massive, free nationwide home retrofit insulation programme, to insulate 9 million homes and take at least 2 million homes out of fuel poverty; allow people to keep their homes warm while reducing carbon emissions. The greens’ proposed investment programme also includes an extra £5bn a year for flood defences. The South West region, which has been hit badly by serious floods in recent years, would be earmarked for a large part of this investment.
Molly Scott Cato said:
“The government should ditch the hard hat posturing and invest in what this region really needs for the future. We reject an investment policy based on the three Hs – Hinkley, HS2, and Heathrow – which are vanity projects that do not meet our national or regional needs in the 21st century.
“As the South West is again battered by torrential downpours, we are reminded of the urgent need to make ourselves resilient in the face of climate change. We need to see major investment in flood defences in the region. Tackling climate change must be the guiding principle for public investment so we can ensure a liveable planet for future generations. Home insulation is essential for improving the standards of living and health of some of the most vulnerable people in our society. And flood-proofing our most vulnerable areas can help reduce the stress and anxiety caused by both the fear of flooding and its physical impacts.”