Experts have for many years been warning about the effects of coastal erosion in the UK by wind, waves and tides. The cause of land erosion is multifaceted, but is a natural response of coastal systems to sea level rise, a product of climate change.
Britain's coastlines have been dramatically receding as an effect of Climate Change. A 2020 article from the UK's Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership found that 3700km of UK coastline is experiencing greater than 10cm of erosion per year.
The issue is a serious one not only for marine ecosystems but for many coastal communities as underlined by the UK government's e-resource for coastal erosion management which allows affected communities to keep up to date with coastal erosion. Maintenance of the UK's coastline has included use of hard coastal defence structures. These will however become increasingly ineffective as sea levels continue to rise and there is increased storm surge and accompanying flooding.
In recognising these issues, the Chancellor announced in his spring budget that there would be a flood defence investment of £5.2bn over six years to better protect 336,000 properties. In addition to this the UK Environment Agency has updated the National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England which will guide the operational activities and decision making of all those involved in flood and coastal erosion risk management activities. This new strategy was laid before Parliament for approval on 14 July 2020.
Clyde & Co is running a virtual legal hackathon between 1 July and 4 August 2020 in partnership with The Chancery Lane Project. This post is part of a series of updates posted during the hackathon on business-relevant climate initiatives and innovative solutions to some of the challenges arising from climate change.