July 10th 2018
The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD took another key step forward in implementing Ireland's national adaptation policy with the formal publication of "Sectoral Planning Guidelines for Climate Change Adaptation". These Sectoral Guidelines were developed to support Government bodies that are required to prepare sectoral adaptation plans under the recently published National Adaptation Framework.
Minister Naughten published Ireland's first statutory National Adaptation Framework (NAF) in January this year. The NAF sets out the national strategy to reduce the vulnerability of the country to the negative effects of climate change and to avail of positive impacts.
Under the NAF, seven Government Ministers representing twelve key sectors are required to prepare sectoral adaptation plans. These include Agriculture, Forestry, Biodiversity, Transport Infrastructure, Electricity and Gas Networks and Flood Risk Management. Sectoral plans must be submitted to Government for approval no later than 30 September 2019. Local authorities must also prepare local adaptation strategies and the Department is continuing to work with local government to develop additional guidance, which will issue later this year.
The Sectoral Guidelines were developed by a team in the UCC/MaREI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy as part of the Climate Ireland Project, which was funded under the Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Research Programme. The work was based on international best practice and included close consultation with key sectors such as the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).
The Sectoral Guidelines aim to ensure that a coherent and consistent approach to adaptation planning is adopted at national and local level, and draw on existing sources of climate and adaptation information relevant for Ireland. They will help to ensure that a coherent and consistent approach to adaptation planning is adopted across Government Departments. Formalising the status of the Guidelines is a key action in the NAF.
Minister Denis Naughten stated:
"Building a climate resilient Ireland will be a long term process that will require a sustained and planned response. There is enough information and support in place to lay a strong foundation for this work and Government must take a leadership role. Already this year we have seen the effects of two extreme weather conditions and now where we are experiencing drought conditions so it is very timely that our key sectors start planning ahead for a climate resilient future. These guidelines will be a support for the Government Departments required to prepare sectoral adaptation plans over the next 18 months. I want to acknowledge the work of UCC/MaREI and colleagues in the Agency for playing a key role in ensuring that these important guidelines could be brought forward for publication, ensuring a key step is taken along the road to achieving climate resilience in Ireland. With a funding commitment by the Government of €21.8 billion the National Adaptation Framework will deliver a coherent whole-of-government approach to resilience in line with both the National Development Plan 2018-2027 and the National Planning Framework that will address Ireland's transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient society."
The sectoral planning guidelines are available here.