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Coast is toast

Letters

The rise in sea levels noted by Jonathon Porritt, quoting from the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, was a minimum of 43cm this century, rather than the 43mm you quoted (NCE 15 February).

This factor of 10 difference is reflected in our flood management policy, which calculates the probability of sea level rises as a result of climate change, together with the risk of storm surge and wave events.

We spend £20bn to delay the flooding of the UK's coasts and major cities. However, we need to spend more by creating a carbon-neutral UK.

We have to be as bold as our forefathers in meeting this challenge. We should show that our carbon awareness leads to climate change leadership in every project, from selection to delivery.

Let us engineer, through our ingenuity, a transformation of our society - not just delay the flooding of it!

Jonathan Essex (M), ICE Environment & Sustainability Board, 39 Common Road, Redhill RH1 6HG

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