Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
The Environmental Audit Select Committee, of which I am a member, recently released our report on the UK’s ability to deal with Heatwaves. Who knew, when we started the inquiry earlier in the year, that it would suddenly become so relevant!
The recent heatwave across the UK has seen rising admissions to hospitals, dying crops, animals and a hugely increased burden on infrastructure. But this isn’t just a recent development – on August 2003 temperatures reached 38.5 degrees and 2193 heat-related deaths were recorded across the UK in just 10 days. The Met Office predicts that the risk of a similarly intense heatwave will occur every other year by the 2040’s.
I hope that the Government will take the threat of heatwaves seriously, and work to introduce and improve the infrastructure necessary to cope with their predicted increase in frequency.