Devastation caused by Storm Babet must be “wake up call” for climate action

We need urgent climate action to ensure storms like Babet don't become the new norm.

The devastating consequences of Storm Babet must be a wake up call for climate action across Scotland and beyond, says Scottish Green MSP Maggie Chapman.

Speaking in a parliamentary debate on Supporting Communities to Mitigate Flooding Impacts and Increase Resilience, Ms Chapman said:

“Storm Babet brought devastating consequences to communities up and down the North East of Scotland. 

“It is the latest extreme weather event that must be taken as a serious wake up call for all of us elected to serve our communities - the climate emergency is here, and it is our responsibility to support measures that will address the impacts and mitigate the risks for people and our share of the planet."

Ms Chapman highlighted the need to climate-proof our communities, saying:

“What the aftermath of Babet has also made clear is the importance of not only physical infrastructure and emergency response in times of disaster, but also the need for strong communities who can support each other in times of crisis. 

“Policies across government portfolios need to support community resilience, taking a holistic approach to place-making through planning, health and local economic policies.”

Ms Chapman also cited the need to consider nature-based solutions such as peatland restoration and reforestation, adding:

“Nature-based solutions can be implemented alongside some more traditional ‘grey’ infrastructure but we must ensure a balance of approaches, and that natural solutions are considered in particular in upland areas to mitigate consequences downstream.”