'The NDR coastal road': Maps give stark warning over flooding risk for Norfolk and Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 14:43 11 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:42 12 February 2020
A disturbing snapshot of how Norfolk and Suffolk could look if global warming goes unchecked and sea levels rise has been published - with the likes of Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Hemsby and Wroxham under water.
And a six-metre rise in sea levels could mean the Norwich Northern Distributor Road becomes a coastal road.
The grim possible future for the county up to the end of the century has been revealed in maps compiled by the European Union's European Environment Agency, using data which has previously been published.
The Copenhagen-based agency's maps show what would happen under a range of scenarios, if no flood prevention action is taken.
They show what would happen if sea levels rise by one to six metres and how, without existing or future coastal protection, areas would be permanently inundated in the coming centuries.
The worst case scenarios of a six-metre rise would even see places such as Little Plumstead and Brundall under water, turning Norwich into a seaside city.
Denise Carlo, Green city councillor said: "These predictions from the respected European Environment Agency, about what could happen if we don't stop pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, must be an urgent wake up call to our local politicians to get real, stop carrying on with business as usual and start addressing climate change as a matter of the utmost urgency.
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"A47 dualling, extending the Northern Distributor Road across the Wensum valley and Norwich airport expansion are an irrelevance if significant parts of Norfolk are under water."
An Environment Agency spokeswoman said the agency did not recognise non-government projections. But she said: "The climate emergency means we are faced with rising sea levels and more frequent and intense flooding.
"We are already seeing the effects of climate change in the UK through hotter, drier summers and wetter winters. The impact on people, communities and wildlife is huge and we must act now to adapt to these challenges."
She said the agency's draft flood and coastal erosion risk management strategy set out how flood and coastal defences needed continued investment and that "we all need to do more to tackle the root causes of climate change".
Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council said: "Last year the county council formally recognised the serious impact around climate change, the need for urgent action and adopted an ambitious and bold new environmental policy which committed the council to achieving net zero carbon emissions on its estates by 2030.
"We are determined to take action, as the need for all of us to reduce our impact on the planet is not in doubt.
"We must also take a whole-county approach in order to ensure a prosperous and sustainable future for our county and we are committed to working alongside partners from the private and public sector to bring about positive change."