Connect with Andrew
Andrew Eden is Flood & Coastal Risk Manager - Adaptation & Resilience at the Environment Agency.
In the run up to the globe's most important meeting on climate
change, the #CIWEMtalksCOP26 series asks thought leaders from the water
and environmental industry and beyond to answer a common question: what
do you most want COP26 to deliver? Here we'll be serialising their answers.
Andrew Eden is Flood & Coastal Risk Manager - Adaptation & Resilience at the Environment Agency. An experienced leader, chartered water and environmental manager and expert technical/policy advisor, he has15 years’ experience across flood and coastal risk assessment, design, policy and implementation. Andrew is driven by a desire to embed climate resilience and adaptation within our places, our infrastructure and our environment to ensure a fairer, more equitable society and prosperous future.
"We have twelve years to save the planet – a stark warning from the IPCC – but that was 2018.
"We're now three years-in and we're beginning to see nations respond – like the Government's commitment to net zero. Yet we still have a mountain to climb.
"The disruption and pain caused by the global pandemic, whilst agonising, will be dwarfed by the environmental, economic and societal collapse in a world of higher temperatures, rising seas and extreme weather.
"In parts of the UK, we can expect sea levels to rise by over one metre by the end of the century (UKCP, 2018) and more frequent flooding from rivers and surface water. As a nation, we will not be able to protect everywhere from the misery of flooding.
"And this is our reality. We don't just need to achieve net zero, but we also have to seize the opportunity to adapt our places and infrastructure, so they can remain resilient and thrive in the face of inevitable climate impacts. Indeed, England's national Flood & Costal Erosion Risk Management Strategy (2021) reflects this in its vision for a nation resilient to future flooding and coastal change.
"At the Conference of the Parties 26, we have an opportunity to put adaptation and mitigation on the same footing, as they're not mutually exclusive, but two sides of the same coin. Indeed, the Global Commission on Adaptation (2019) found that investing $1.8 trillion in resilience could generate $7.1 trillion in net benefits, so we know the economic case for adaptation is clear.
"I am thrilled that Adaptation & Resilience is one of the core themes of COP26, and my hope is that nations can come together to innovate, fund and inspire action in others, so our places, infrastructure and natural environment can remain resilient in a changing and uncertain climate."
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