Storms Ciara, Dennis rain on UK climate strikers’ gathering

Storm Dennis brought a month’s worth of rain in just 48 hours to parts of the UK. (AP pic)

LONDON: Young climate protesters in the UK have been forced to cancel their first national conference following serious flooding and heavy rainstorms on two successive weekends.

The conference was expected to take place from Sunday to Wednesday, but flooding in Staffordshire in England’s west midlands region made the venue unaccessible.

Police advised against the meeting going ahead, according to a statement from the UK Student Climate Network.

“The fingerprints of climate change are all over Storms Ciara and Dennis,” said Simon Lewis, professor of global change science at University College London.

Winter storms aren’t new in the UK, but climate models predict that, with rising average temperatures, the country will experience wetter winters.

Storm Ciara hit the island nation last weekend, and Storm Dennis has battered its shores this weekend.

On Sunday, the Met Office issued its first red alert linked to rainfall in almost two years. England had 480 flood warnings in place on Monday – a record.

The youth activists, who have organised a series of strikes in the past, such as those organised by Greta Thunberg’s global Fridays for Future movement, were meeting to exchange lessons and improve the effectiveness of future strikes.