Flooding and extreme precipitation major risks for Glasgow, says World Health Organisation

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Glasgow could face flooding, extreme precipitation, urban heat and other risks because of climate change, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The international public health body has drawn up an urban profile of Glasgow, highlighting hazards, health risks and other issues related to climate change.

It is one of six cities from around the world to be profiled as it looks at how we can adapt and mitigate climate change.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The three main risks facing Glasgow are flooding, extreme and/or increased precipitation, and urban heat island effect, according to the publication, which also states that rising sea levels and heatwaves/increased temperatures could also be an issue.

Evidence for these findings come from various sources, noting that precipitation between October and March is expected to increase 42% by 2050 if greenhouse gas emissions remain high, that the city’s housing infrastructure is unprepared for heatwaves, and that 45,200 homes and business in Glasgow are at risk of flooding - a number which could hit 57,000 by 2080.

There are concerns about parts of Glasgow being flooded.There are concerns about parts of Glasgow being flooded.
There are concerns about parts of Glasgow being flooded. | Richard Johnson - stock.adobe.co

The report looks at a number of changes that are being made in response to these concerns, from big strategies such as the implementation of the Low Emission Zone to smaller tree planting projects.

Over the next nine years The Glasgow Green deal, launched last year during COP26, will also work to achieve a fairer and more equal economy through taking action on climate change that impacts unfairly on the lives of the most vulnerable in the city.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, it also makes a number of suggestions on how things could be improved.

It states: “Glasgow has a lot of strategies that aim to reduce the risk to the population from climate threats and promote health equity.

“However, faster implementation is needed to ensure targets are met and negative climate impacts are avoided. This can be achieved by strengthening local authority leadership, aligning policies, and ensuring sufficient budget and resources are available.”

Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director of Environment, Climate Change and Health, said “City councils have the power to change our lives for the better. They can address inequality, improve people’s health, and tackle the climate crisis at the same time. The WHO Urban Profile illustrates how Glasgow is leading the way to a healthy, sustainable future”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Councillor Angus Millar, Glasgow’s City Convener for Climate, Glasgow Green Deal, Transport and City Centre Recovery, said:” This look at our city, by WHO, raises awareness about the immediate health threats from climate change that we, and many other cities like ours, face.

“Well over half the world’s population lives in cities, and many people rely on them for their health and well-being so it is important that they are at the forefront of the action to mitigate and adapt to these climate change shocks and longer-term stresses.

“Glasgow is striving alongside other cities around the world in tackling the climate emergency, and this profile highlights the broad range of work the Council and its partners are undertaking to improve the quality of life for our citizens through climate action.

“Projects like the city centre-based Avenues project, our strategic drainage and surface water management activity, and initiatives to promote greenery and biodiversity like the Wee Forests are all making a difference now - and we will only see the pace of action accelerated over the next few years as we deliver on Glasgow’s ambitious climate plan.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.