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Letter: Flood and Coastal Resilience Standards

1. Outline

This is a joint letter from the Chair of the Adaptation Committee, the National Infrastructure Commission and Flood Re on Flood and Coastal Resilience Standards. The letter highlights the need to make a clear statement of ambition to ensure the nation’s resilience to flooding and climate change that goes further.

2. Key recommendations

We believe resilience standards will enable all types of places to achieve an appropriate level of resilience that reduces the likelihood and/or consequences of flooding and coastal change for people, infrastructure, the economy and the environment. Our analyses have shown that national resilience standards would have significant benefits including:

  • Promoting place-based resilience by enhancing the capacity of people to plan for, better protect, respond to, and recover from flooding and coastal erosion risks. This includes making the best land use and development choices, protecting people and places, responding to and recovering from flooding and coastal erosion and all the time adapting to climate change.
  • Supporting a thriving economy, by offering financial benefits that outweigh costs of implementation, contributing to a more secure economic position.

In addition, they would:

  • Be equitable: a nationally consistent approach to setting standards avoids a resilience ‘post code lottery’, reduces regional inequality in flood and coastal expenditure and help with the transition to an affordable, risk reflective home insurance market when Flood Re support ends in 2039.
  • Empower local communities: people in places at risk would be engaged in the process of selecting and applying tools to achieve resilience in their communities (i.e. not one-size fits all).
  • Support adaptation to climate change: local places would co-develop the adaptation response to manage future flooding, coastal change, and climate risks.