‘Urgent’ action needed to save Scotland’s infrastructure

Hannah Smith

NEW research from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Scotland has revealed ‘urgent action’ is required to prevent climate change doing more damage to the nation’s infrastructure.

In the organisation’s State of the Nation 2020 report, ICE Scotland warned that, without mitigation measures, the impact of extreme weather will increase with ‘potentially devastating consequences’ for infrastructure.

ICE Scotland wants to see a task force established to ensure existing infrastructure can withstand climate change, backed by significant commitments in the Infrastructure Investment Plan.

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. As events throughout 2020 have shown, this leads to widespread disruption, costly repair bills and, most tragically of all, risks to life. This is why 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.”