The impact of climate change in the East of England and what we need to do to tackle it

  • ITV Anglia's meteorologist Aisling Creevey explains what COP26 is all about

In November, world leaders will gather in Glasgow to discuss solving the challenge of global warming and its threat to life on this planet.

The UK is playing host to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, billed as the most important climate summit since a landmark agreement was signed in Paris in 2015. Known as COP 26 it'll be the first to be held since that agreement - with the aim to limit global temperature rises. As the temperatures increase, so do the impacts on the environment with flooding, storms and coastal erosion - all of which impact our jobs, our homes and security.

The conference has four key aims:

  • Secure global net zero carbon emissions by mid-century and keep the target of limiting the temperature rise to only 1.5°C within reach

  • Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats

  • Mobilise finance

  • Work together to deliver

One of the main areas for COP26 will be how to ensure critical infrastructure can adapt to cope with the changing demands caused by climate change.

Denver Sluice in West Norfolk is a key part of East Anglia's water management system Credit: ITV News Anglia

The East of England is the driest part of the UK. Water management will be a key challenge, changing weather patterns are likely to lead to more frequent and extreme flooding as well as the risk of longer droughts. We will not only need to ensure we continue to keep healthy supplies of water but also move it to from wetter to drier parts of the country, where it's needed.

Denver Sluice is in the Norfolk countryside close to the border with Cambridgeshire; the magnificent structure breaks up the landscape of the Fens. The very first sluice was built here across the River Great Ouse in 1651 and the gates are vital in keeping the Fens drained of water and preventing flooding. The water flow is all very carefully controlled and from here water can be transferred to other parts of the Anglia region, travelling huge distances.

  • Watch a report from ITV News Anglia about how water from wetter parts of the country reach the drier parts

This hi-tech water control is the responsibility of the Environment Agency and it forms part of an intricate water transfer system; a system is more vital than ever, as climate change affects water supplies in drier areas.

On Thursday 30 September, ITV News Anglia produced a special live news programme exploring the issues surrounding climate change and its impact on the Eastern Counties.

As well as examining Anglia Water's pipeline plan for getting water supplies to the driest parts of the country, it also looked at the work of the Cambridge-based British Antarctic Survey and how letting the sea flood parts of the Essex countryside was also helping absorb carbon dioxide.