MSP Warns of Sea Level Rise

West of Scotland Green MSP Ross Greer has called for urgent action after a report reveals coastal Inverclyde at risk from sea level rises due to climate change.

Greer, who has proposed a parliamentary motion on the subject, issued the call in reaction to a document commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage into “Impacts of sea-level rise and storm surges due to climate change in the Firth of Clyde”. The report considers which sites would be most at risk if a sea level rise of just under half a metre – thought to be likely in 2080 should the climate crisis continue- is combined with a 1-in-200-year storm surge.

Among the predictions are flooding of buildings and moorings at Faslane Naval Base which is home to the UK’s nuclear arsenal. Many houses, industrial sites, railway lines and roads are predicted to be under threat including houses and industrial sites in Greenock and Gourock and flooding around Inverkip Harbour. Severe damage to wildlife habitats are also predicted.  

“We need to get serious about sea level rise threatening coastal communities across the Firth of Clyde. The report talks about a half metre rise in sea levels- but if we don’t take urgent action on the climate crisis we could be looking at nearly a metre. The damage could be far worse than projected, given the current pace of climate change. We urgently need not only to invest in flood defences but in the kind of industrial strategy which creates jobs in clean energy technology, lifting people out of poverty and tackling the climate crisis before it reaches this point.

“The expected rise means there’s a real danger that many houses in Gourock and some parts of Greenock will be flooded. The expectation that buildings and moorings at Faslane are under threat of inundation is also quite frightening and given the history of radiation leaks and other accidents on base, this is another reason to rethink the UK’s commitment to its nuclear arsenal and its location here.”