The floods show London is now on the frontline of the climate emergency

(The Guardian, 29 Jul 2021) From strengthening flood defences to creating low-traffic neighbourhoods, our city is taking bold action.

Too often, we in the UK have thought of countries such as India and Bangladesh as being on the frontlines of the climate crisis. But the serious flooding in London over the weekend and in the last month – coupled with the extreme weather we’ve seen in other parts of the UK over recent years – shows the realities of climate change are no longer a distant problem, but one that is increasingly reaching our own doorsteps.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen homes, businesses and tube stationsinundated with floodwater in our city. And while it’s been inspiring to see communities pull together, and local authorities and emergency services reacting quickly to support those in need, the truth is that freak weather events – like the ones we’ve been experiencing here in London and around the world – should be a wake-up call, spurring us all to take much more ambitious climate action.

As part of our immediate response in London, we are working in partnership with councils, water companies and the Environment Agency to fortify our defences and ensure our city is less vulnerable to flooding – both today and in the future. But we know we can’t merely respond to the effects of the climate crisis, we need to help reverse it.

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The Guardian, 29 Jul 2021: The floods show London is now on the frontline of the climate emergency