Climate change could put emergency services under ‘extreme strain’

Close up of surgery team operating

Hospitals, schools and Tube stations are at “serious risk” if urgent action is not taken to tackle climate change, a new report has revealed.

The report from Green Party London Assembly Member Caroline Russell looks at how the Capital will be affected if the global temperature increases by 1.5 degrees. It says that London is at risk of overheating, meaning higher chances of flooding for thousands of homes and hundreds of schools. It could put an “extreme strain” on the emergency services.

Ms Russell said: “My new report is the start of telling the truth about the impact on London if we don’t take urgent action.

“Anyone who commuted through last summer’s heatwave will know how unpleasant that was – these will be normal summers in the next couple of decades.

“What will that mean for schools, teachers, and school children during the struggle to stay cool?”

The report also revealed that an increase of up to 40% in water supply is needed by 2040 in order to provide enough water for people in London. On housing, it stated that two-thirds of flats could experience overheating by 2030. It also claimed that a total of 23 stations on the Underground network are at significant risk of flooding – the Northern and Central lines have the most stations at risk – while some 643 schools are in danger of flooding over the next 30 years.

Ms Russell called on Mayor Sadiq Khan to update his environment strategy in order to meet the risks of a temperature increase.

The report also called on Mr Khan to commission more research on the effect of climate change on the Capital’s housing, transport, emergency services, utilities, workplaces and schools.

Ms Russell added: “As recently as last month, thousands of people were out in our streets demanding action from the government, which has been dangerously slow to act against this very real and frightening future.

“The time for action is now. I urge the Mayor to tell the whole truth about climate change and fill the gaps this research has shown, so we can know all the risks Londoners face.

“Sadiq Khan must prepare for these huge changes, London needs to be ready.”