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Coastal Damage Could Cost U.K. Economy Billions, WWF Says

  • Climate change threatens businesses, homes, roads, railways
  • Over 2 million homes could be at risk if no action taken
A farm near Lincoln is marooned by floodwater after the Barlings Eau broke its banks on Nov. 15.
A farm near Lincoln is marooned by floodwater after the Barlings Eau broke its banks on Nov. 15.Photographer: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The U.K. economy could face hits of more than 12 billion pounds ($15.4 billion) a year by 2050 from coastal damages alone if no action is taken to combat climate change, according to the WWF.

The calculations -- made on the basis of global trade, land-use and ecosystem services models -- are published as Britain grapples with flooding across large sections of the country. Unless action is taken, almost 2.5 million homes in the U.K. will be at risk of flooding by 2050, the WWF said. Already this month, around 1,000 properties were vacated in Yorkshire after two rivers burst their banks.