The RSPB has welcomed the Government’s decision to abandon plans to build the Severn Barrage. Mark Robins, senior policy officer for the RSPB in the South West said: “Climate change threatens an environmental catastrophe for humans and wildlife. Harnessing the huge tidal power of the Severn has to be right, but it cannot be right to trash the natural environment in the process.
“A barrage like the one proposed between Cardiff and Weston-super-Mare would not only destroy huge areas of estuary marsh and mudflats used by 69,000 birds each winter and block the migration routes of countless fish, but, as confirmed by this report, it would dramatically increase risk of flooding to residential properties.
“Does not make economic sense”
“The Government study needed to demonstrate that a big barrage could form a cost effective part of a radical plan to tackle climate change. It is clear that a barrage does not make economic sense.
“It’s a great shame that we have been fixated on outdated environmentally destructive technology. We have consistently called for investment in more innovative and potentially less destructive schemes on the Severn which take environmental considerations into account in their design.
“The Government has signalled it will be prepared to review this decision if the strategic context changes. We now want the Government to announce that only truly sustainable solutions which respect the estuary, its people and its wildlife will be considered in the future.
“Such an announcement would provide a clear signal to the engineering community and provide some much-needed incentives for the development of these technologies for use not just in the Severn but also in estuaries around the UK and elsewhere.
“It would also mean that if the situation changes and this or a future government decides to reopen the debate about how to harness tidal power from the Severn, then it will not have to rely on outdated, environmentally destructive technologies.
“The UK could and should be a world leader in sustainable tidal power if the investment and the will could be found.”
Source : Wild Life Extra