Sunday, February 15, 2009

Change design of UK buildings now to fight climate change

The UK should immediately change the way it designs and builds buildings, transport and energy infrastructure in preparation for climate change.

That's the warning from a report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) published today, which looks at the impact of rising temperatures and high sea levels.

Sea levels are predicted to rise by 2m by 2250 and 7m by the end of that century, according to the Guardian.

The action the members of IMechE want includes:

• Building new railways because many of the existing routes use valleys that could be flooded

• Building reservoirs underground to prevent evaporation

• Spending heavily on researching new forms of energy such as fusion

"A seven-metre rise in sea levels would impact on vast areas of the UK, including parts of London which border the Thames,[such as] Canary Wharf, Chelsea and Westminster, all of which would need to be abandoned," the report said.

It calls for government investment to address the problem now, despite pressure on public finances, in order to save cash later.

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