The UK faces the “serious risk” of an increase in severe weather conditions in the future, the government has warned.
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said the predicted rise in sea levels could create the “perfect storm” conditions in the future.
Appearing before the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Select Committee in Parliament, she insisted that the coalition government was committed to boosting flood defences as a result.
She said: “The underlying implications of a rise in sea levels of 300mm by 2050 is significant, we have to plan for that.”
She said that in the coming decades the UK faced the “serious risks of the perfect storm”.
“We need to plan for the predictable fact that there will be an increased frequency of severe weather events.”
She said the importance of flood protection had to be elevated to reflect this threat.
Spelman confirmed that her department would have to find cuts of between 25% to 40% as part of the government’s spending review.
But she told the committee that she was unable to give specific details about where the cuts might fall until the publication of the review next month.