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Coastal Areas: Hampshire

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 19 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the likely effects of climate change on coastal areas of Hampshire in (a) 2020, (b) 2050 and (c) 2080; and if she will make a statement. (142407)

I have been asked to reply.

The Hampshire coast is covered by two Shoreline Management Plans. Once reviewed, these plans will provide a large-scale assessment of the risks associated with coastal processes taking account of climate change and other factors. They will also provide a policy framework to manage risks in a sustainable manner, looking ahead over the next 100 years and based on up to date guidance. The reviews will include full consultation with those likely to be affected.

DEFRA published revised guidance for operating authorities on future rates of sea level rise in November 2006. This recommended the following allowances for the east and south east of England, including the effects of vertical land movement:

4.0 mm rise per year from the baseline of nominal 1990 levels to 2025

8.5 mm from 2025 to 2055

12.0 mm from 2055 to 2085

15.0 mm from 2085 to 2115.

Estimates of future sea level rise vary. The aforementioned guidance has been published solely for the purpose of informing flood and coastal erosion risk management decisions and is kept under review. The assumptions and qualifications on which the recommendations are based are included in the guidance which is published on the DEFRA website.

DEFRA policy has been guided by the Government’s 2004 Foresight Report which presented possible future flood and coastal erosion risk scenarios. DEFRA, the UK Climate Impacts Programme and Met Office Hadley Centre will publish updated climate change scenarios for the UK in 2008 which should improve understanding of how climate change may affect sea level rise and storm surge over the next 100 years.