Oxfam has warned that England’s most deprived areas are three times more likely to have been flooded than those in affluent parts of the country.
Although media coverage of the recent floods in the UK seemed to focus on the damage to homes in better off areas such as the Thames Valley, Oxfam’s research and analysis shows that, over the long-term, people living in poorer areas are far more likely to be affected. They found that almost one in five of the poorest third of neighbourhoods in England were hit by floods between 1990 and 2013. This compares to just one in 18 of the top ten per cent.
The research highlights the need for the government to protect vulnerable people living in less affluent parts of the country, particularly as climate change now presents a greater threat of continued flooding in the UK. Sally Copley, Oxfam’s head of UK policy, programmes and campaigns, says:
“This winter’s floods dramatically demonstrated that people in the UK will not be immune from the effects of climate change. Around the world, climate change is hitting the poorest hardest and we must make sure this doesn’t happen overseas or on our doorstep.”
Oxfam is calling for action from both governments and business to help stop climate change threatening the security and prosperity of the UK and making the poorest people in the world hungry. It is calling on the UK government to push the EU to cut its emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030 as part of its climate and energy package.