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Flood defences need £1bn a year to cope with climate change.

Above all, it calls for public spending on construction of infrastructure to protect property to be more than doubled to £1bn a year.

Instead of simply building higher and higher flood defences, the draft strategy recommends the use temporary barriers, natural flood management, sustainable drainage systems, effective flood warnings and emergency response, alongside designing and adapting existing properties and new development so they can recover quickly from a flood.

Consultation on the new floods and coastal erosion risk management strategy opens today, 9th May 2019 and runs for eight weeks up until 4th July 2019. Once the consultation has closed, the Environment Agency will review the responses and publish a final document that will then be laid before parliament in winter 2019.

Environment Agency chair Emma Howard Boyd said that the Environment Agency is preparing for a potential 4°C rise in global temperature and that action is needed to tackle more frequent, intense flooding and sea level rise.

The strategy calls for all infrastructure to be flood resilient by 2050.

In addition to resilience measures, an average of £1bn will need to be invested each and every year in traditional flood and coastal defences and natural flood management.

The government is currently spending just £430m a year on flood and coast defences.

As well as taking precautions to prepare for flooding and prevent damage, the strategy calls for more to be done to encourage property owners to ‘build back better’ after a flood. This could involve home improvements to make them more resilient, such as raised electrics, hard flooring and flood doors. The Environment Agency will work with government, insurers and financial institutions to review how to bring about this change by 2025.