The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD, has published Ireland’s first statutory National Adaptation Framework and announced funding of €10m to establish Local Authority Regional Climate Action Offices.
Observations show that Ireland’s climate is changing in terms of sea level rise, increases in average temperature, changes in precipitation patterns and weather extremes. The scale and rate of change is consistent with regional and global trends and these changes are projected to continue and increase over the coming decades.
Climate change will have diverse and wide ranging impacts on Ireland’s environment, society and economic development, including managed and natural ecosystems, water resources, agriculture and food security, human health and coastal zones.
National Adaptation Framework (NAF)
Prepared under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015, the National Adaptation Framework (NAF) sets out the potential implications of climate change for Ireland and specifies the national strategy for the development of adaptation measures by key sectors and by local authorities.
Under the Framework, Government Departments will be required to prepare Sectoral Adaptation Plans for key sectors including Agriculture, Forestry, Biodiversity, Transport and Flood Risk Management. Local Authorities will also be preparing Adaptation Strategies and the Framework provides a basis for local authorities and key sectors to assess their key climate risks and vulnerabilities while enabling climate resilience actions to be mainstreamed into all local, regional and national policymaking.
A number of resources are now in place to assist with adaptation planning and the Framework sets the context for these. These include the online resource, Climate Ireland, Sectoral Guidelines for Planning for Climate Change Adaptation and Local Authority Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Development Guidelines. Such resources will provide decision support tools and advice to assist sectors and local government in developing their responses to the projected impacts of climate change.
Local Authority Regional Climate Action Offices
In launching the National Adaptation Framework, the Minister also announced funding of €10m over a 5-year period to establish Local Authority Regional Climate Action Offices to support the implementation of national climate policy. The establishment of the regional offices represents a key action under both the National Mitigation Plan and the National Adaptation Framework.