May 25th, 2016
The Minister for Communications, Climate Change and Natural Resources Mr. Denis Naughten T.D., has said that Climate Change is the global challenge of our generation.
Speaking today at a launch event for the Local Authority Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Guidelines, Minister Naughten said that this position “is reflected in the Programme for a Partnership Government which has identified Climate Change as a policy area requiring radical and ambitious evaluation and action.”
A statement from the Department of Communications, Climate Change and Natural Resources (DCCNR) insists that “while climate policy must continue to be primarily focused on reducing emissions in accordance with EU and International agreements, adaptation is also an urgent policy priority”. Minister Naughten said: “our planet will take time to recover from the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere and we will be faced with the impacts of climate change for decades to come.”
The Local Authority guidelines, which devolve adaptation decision-making in response to the inevitable impacts of Climate Change to local government, was described by Minister Naughten as appropriate, given that “the impacts of climate change, and the capacity to respond to them, are very different in different areas of Ireland. Storm surge events may increase in frequency; there is likely to be increased flows to river catchments; sea level may rise; and rainfall amounts may increase in winter and decrease in summer. These changes, in turn, will impact on a number of sectors including agriculture, energy, infrastructure and water resources.”
These guidelines were published as part of the wider National Adaptation Framework (NAF), a requirement of the minister under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act (2015). Local Authorities will be mandated under the NAF to prepare local adaptation strategies that complement adaptation plans made by Government Departments on a sectoral basis.
The first Minister with specific responsibility for Climate Change, Minister Naughten said: “by prioritising a coherent, flexible and participatory approach at national, sectoral and local levels, we can aim to plan, in a considered way, how to adapt our towns and cities to the future impacts that climate change will bring.”
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