When climate disaster hits the UK, the Tories just made sure ordinary people protect the rich


Under the Conservative government we are heading towards climate disaster. Now, the Tories have made sure taxpayers will disproportionately protect the rich if that happens.

Out of all the risks posed by man-made climate change, flooding is perhaps the most immediate threat to Britain. But the government’s method for allocating taxpayers’ money to flood defence systems favours the rich, according to a new investigation by The Press Association.

When determining the amount of money that goes to each area, the government focuses on the value of assets. This means richer areas and those with high house prices could receive more public cash.

In the UK, the number of people at risk from flooding will increase to 3.6 million by 2050, according to the government. Correspondingly, the cost of flood damage will increase to up to £10bn per year. Under the present system, the majority of the funding to protect people from such damage will go to affluent areas. As well as favouring the rich, the system means flood defence spending is based on housing bubble market prices.

Solar, obviously

As well as floods, there will be more deaths from heatwaves and widespread water shortages by 2050. A glance at the potential of solar energy and these impending disasters could be avoided.

According to Tech Insider, more power from the sun reaches the earth in a single hour than mankind uses in an entire year. The planet’s total energy needs would only require solar panels covering a combined area the size of Spain.

Uruguay makes the whole transition look “childishly simple” as it moves to 95% renewables for electricity, after launching the initiative in only 2008. Costa Rica maintained 100% renewable energy for electricity for 92 consecutive days earlier this year. European powerhouse Germany is moving to sustainability, with more than a quarter of its electricity coming from renewables.

Meanwhile, the UK government made it its legal duty to accelerate fossil fuel emissions, looking to “maximise economic recovery” through oil and gas. If we continue on this route, it will be ordinary people who pay to protect affluent areas and wealthy homeowners through the flood protection scheme.

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