THE Environment Agency’s chief executive has warned that returning to business as usual after the coronavirus pandemic won’t be enough to address the challenges of the future.
Introducing its new five-year plan in which it highlights projects it is working on across the region to improve the environment and protect people, including the Calstock Flood Defence Improvement Scheme, the EA said instead of working to return to a world we once knew, it was setting out how it plans to lead the way toward a greener, healthier future.
The plan EA2025 calls for a new approach which promotes health, equity and environmental enhancement and says that the coronavirus pandemic presents an opportunity to reshape a better future. It can help society better understand the largest public health threat of the century: climate change.
By 2025 the Environment Agency aims to have created more climate resilient places and infrastructure, by ensuring the nation is prepared for flooding, coastal change and drought.
The plan also highlights a renewed focus on improving the health of air, land and water for people and nature — and ensuring green growth for a sustainable future.
Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, said: ‘Tackling climate change must become a default position for everyone. We know that life post-lockdown presents a unique opportunity to change the way we live and work for the better.
‘We have been gifted a glimpse of how we could adapt our lives and think differently about how we operate. This applies not just to us but the communities we serve too. People are ready to think differently and with our new five-year plan we want to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime chance to lead the way.’
Some of the EA’s ambitious targets for 2020/21 include improving more than 4,000 kilometres of river, creating nearly 1,200 hectares of habitat and being on track to be carbon-neutral by 2030. All these are included in EA2025.
Among its key projects the EA is working hard to develop a scheme that continues the standard of flood protection for properties within Calstock. This project provides multiple benefits including catchment and community resilience to climate change, creation of 12 hectares of rich intertidal habitat and providing community and visitors with an enhanced environment to enjoy, experience and look after.
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