Local level adaptation

Local authorities will play a key role in helping the country to adjust to the effects of climate change. The local government sector plays a pivotal role in planning for, and responding to, emergency situations. Given their close relationship with the community, local authorities can react faster and more effectively to local climate events than other government agencies, This has been demonstrated in their response to extreme weather events in Ireland over recent years. They have essential local knowledge of the natural and manmade environment and have a critical role to play in managing climate risks and vulnerabilities and identifying adaptation actions. They also deliver key services to the public either directly or on in partnership with other Government Departments such as housing, planning, sanitation and maintenance of local roads, parks and waterways.

The National Adaptation Framework identifies the role to be played by local authorities in addressing climate change adaptation. This will effectively build on their existing expertise and experience as first responders in emergency scenarios such as Storms Ophelia and Eleanor.

 

The National Adaptation Framework will support local and regional adaptation action and the development of local authority climate change adaptation strategies. The work undertaken to develop a local adaptation strategy should inform development plans and other statutory plans of the local authority. The National Adaptation Framework sets out the context for local adaptation strategies and also explore how local authorities might adopt a joint or regional approach to adaptation planning.

 

The joint/regional approach, based on an analysis by the local government sector, harnesses the potential to group certain local authorities based on similar geographical/topographical characteristics and on the basis of existing synergies in addressing threats and impacts of severe weather events and ongoing climate change risks. Therefore it is based on climate risk assessment with a focus on the predominant risks in each geographical area.

 

In launching the National Adaptation Framework on 19 January 2018 Minister Denis Naughten T.D. also announced funding of €10m over a five year period to establish 4 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.