Ministers dragging their feet on action to protect people from heatwaves

24 October 2018

The Government must do more to protect the public from the effects of heatwaves, says the Environmental Audit Committee.

In July, the Committee’s heatwaves report warned that there will be 7,000 heat-related deaths every year in the UK by 2050 if the Government does not act.

The report called for a range of measures to protect people, including public information campaigns, a minister responsible for co-ordinating heatwave response across government, NHS guidance, resilience inspections in hospitals and care homes, and action on overheating homes, schools, hospitals and care homes.

The Government’s response to the report, published today, accepts some of the recommendations. However, ministers have not properly acknowledged many of the conclusions to which the report is based.

Chair's comments

Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Mary Creagh MP, said:

“The Government has committed to create sustainable cities and healthy communities as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Ministers must act to protect people from the risks of heatwaves - especially with the UK’s ageing population.

“There is a worrying lack of co-ordination across government, and the Government’s admission that all new properties are prone to overheating is astonishing.

 “We are particularly disappointed that the Government have decided to press ahead with using public money to build modular homes, which are particularly vulnerable to overheating, flooding and only last fifty years.”

Further information

Image: Creative Commons

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