Daniel Johns, the head of adaptation at the Committee on Climate Change, urged the government to commit to spending more on defences after weeks of heavy rain caused flooding across the UK.
His comments came as water levels in north-east Scotland reached their highest levels in 45 years, causing further severe flooding in Aberdeenshire, where homes have had to be evacuated in recent days.
The Treasury minister, David Gauke, dismissed revelations last week that the government had been told funding cuts meant flood defences were being abandoned or maintained to only a minimal level.
Responding to a report compiled by the Association of Drainage Authorities (ADA) and published by the Observer, Gauke said the government had increased spending after it was told that a shortfall had weakened preparedness.
Government claims that it increased spending on flood defences ahead of the wettest December on record are “essentially meaningless”, an independent adviser on climate change has said.