Britain braces for more floods; PM’s COP 26 spokeswoman suggests freezing leftover bread

Daily news Downing Street Environment

The Met Office has warned of further thunderstorms and torrential downpours following weekend flooding after more than a month of rain fell in a few hours in London.

A yellow thunderstorm and rain warning is in place until Thursday with Scotland and England at most risk of further flooding from a spell of low pressure bringing persistent rain.

London was submerged by flash floods after a month’s worth of rain fell in the space of a few hours on Sunday (July 26) causing chaos and disruption. One hospital – Whipps Cross in north east London – evacuated 100 patients following a power outage when a basement flooded while London Fire Brigade reported more than 1,000 calls about incidents around the capital.

UK’s infrastructure needs complete overhaul

Scientists have warned “intense summer rainfall” will be more frequent and Dr Jess Neumann, a hydrologist at University of Reading said: “No city, town or village is immune to flooding and we all need to take hard action right now if we are to prevent impacts from getting worse in the future.”

Neumann, quoted on the Guardian, said the UK’s infrastructure needs a complete overhaul, explaining: “Planning and development need to consider flood risk from all sources – river, groundwater and flash floods – and adapt accordingly.

“It is not acceptable to keep paving over the land and expect the public to deal with the water when it comes into their homes.”

Freeze left over bread, don’t bin it, suggests Stratton

The prime minister’s COP 26 spokeswoman, Allegra Stratton has suggested people “consider” not rinsing dishes before dishwashing in a bid to help save the planet.

It is one of a series of “micro-steps” Stratton – the PM’s former press secretary who was originally hired to present daily press briefings in Downing Street’s multimillion pound media room – has set out in an article for the Telegraph. In it, Stratton encourages people to be more environmentally friendly and aware, and suggests freezing left over bread instead of binning it and buying shampoo bars wrapped in cardboard packaging.

“Could you go One Step Greener?” she writes. “Did you know, according to COP26 principal partner Reckitt, who make Finish, you don’t really “need to rinse your dishes before they go into the dishwasher?”

Pre-rinsing households use an extra 27,000 litres of water a year (according to a US study) and the micro-steps are part of the government’s #One Step Greener campaign – a social media drive focused on 26 ambassadors, “extraordinary, everyday, people”,  to “create a mass movement of green steps, showcasing how steps – big or small – culminate in large collective action”.

COP 26 is less than 100 days away

The campaign is part of the lead up to COP 26 – the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference being held Glasgow from October 31 to November 12 – less than 100 days away.

COP 26 – the 26th gathering of the Conference of the Parties – is “bringing together over 190 world leaders to agree urgent action to tackle climate change” and “to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.”

The government declared 2020 a “year of climate action” when Boris Johnson launched a campaign with Sir David Attenborough at the Science Museum in February last year, before the pandemic.

Theresa May pledged the UK to “net-zero” emissions by 2050 in one of her final acts as prime minister.


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