Scottish Government must act now to save country’s infrastructure

Urgent action is needed to stop climate change doing even more damage to Scotland’s infrastructure, according to a new report from the Institution of Civil Engineers Scotland.

The Union Canal breach
The Union Canal breach
In its State of the Nation 2020 report,  ICE Scotland has warned that, without mitigation measures, the impact of extreme weather on Scotland’s infrastructure will only increase, with potentially devastating consequences for the assets which underpin every aspect of Scotland’s economy and society.

The organisation has called for a Task Force – bringing together experts to conduct a thorough needs assessment and establish delivery mechanisms for a sustained programme of infrastructure adaptation work.

The report, submitted in response to the Scottish Government’s Draft Infrastructure Investment Plan, also sets out how climate ready infrastructure can deliver against a range of Government objectives – such as enabling economic productivity and supporting wellbeing.

ICE Scotland Director, Hannah Smith, said: “Climate change is already straining Scotland’s existing infrastructure, much of which wasn’t built to withstand the weather conditions increasingly being seen in Scotland today.

“As events throughout 2020 have shown, this leads to widespread disruption, costly repair bills and, most tragically of all, risks to life. We can no longer wait to guarantee our infrastructure is as resilient as possible in the face of our climate emergency.”

Chair of ICE Scotland’s Public Voice Committee, Jim Young, added: “Programmes of retrofitting and adaptation will not only ensure our infrastructure is fit for purpose, but when done the right way infrastructure adaption can make places better to live in, work in and visit.

“However, without urgent action we risk a series of infrastructure failures that would hurt the economy, be costly to resolve, and threaten the safety and wellbeing of infrastructure users. We must act quickly to adapt and retrofit our infrastructure so it is resilient to these impacts and can continue to perform.” 
 

Read the Scotland SON Report

Find out more on ICE's State of the Nation findings here
 
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