15 September 2017
The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten T.D., today launched a public consultation on Ireland’s first statutory National Adaptation Framework (NAF).
In accordance with the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 the National Adaptation Framework is to specify the national strategy for the application of adaptation measures in different sectors and by local authorities in their administrative areas in order to reduce the vulnerability of the State to the negative effects of climate change. The final National Adaptation Framework will be submitted to Government for approval in December. The closing date for receipt of submissions as part of the consultation is 27 October 2017.
Minister Denis Naughten stated:
“As Minister for Climate Action I am totally committed to ensuring we embark on an effective transition to a low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050. In July we published Ireland's first statutory National Mitigation Plan and now with the preparation of this Framework we have reached another critical milestone in enabling this transition. Ireland’s climate is changing and we have no choice but to take adaptation action to anticipate and prepare for the unavoidable consequences of climate change. Coordinated adaptation planning is vital to anticipate the effects of climate change and to implement measures to minimise the risks.”
A number of sectors will be asked to prepare sectoral adaptation plans including Agriculture, Marine, Forestry, Biodiversity, Transport, Flood Risk Management and Health. The Framework will not identify specific locations or propose adaptation measures or projects in relation to sectors. Detailed adaptation measures will be developed through the sectors themselves, including the local government sector, in accordance with the NAF.
Inviting the public to provide feedback to his Department on the draft framework, the Minister also said:
“In order to respond effectively to climate change we need to hear the views of the whole of society. In this regard I see this consultation as an essential element of the National Dialogue on Climate Action. I encourage all to engage with this consultation process to inform our ongoing work in delivering a final Framework to Government.”
Details of how members of the public and interested stakeholders can have their say on this consultation are available on the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment’s website here.
Responses to the consultation draft will be reviewed and considered by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and will inform the finalisation of the National Adaptation Framework.
Notes for Editors
Purpose of the National Adaptation Framework
The National Adaptation Framework has been prepared in line with the requirements of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act, 2015. The purpose of the Framework is provide the policy context for a strategic adaptation response to climate change; to develop policies, working in partnership with relevant stakeholders; to integrate adaptation considerations to all relevant policy areas; to promote understanding of adaptation issues; to promote and support the development of scientific evidence relating to adaptation; to identify sectors for adaptation actions; and commit to actions to support the adaptation process. There will be formal preparation of successive National Adaptation Frameworks at least once every five years as provided for in the 2015 legislation.
Structure of the Draft National Adaptation Framework
The draft National Adaptation Framework is divided into two parts each with two chapters. Part 1 sets out the national, European policy context of the National Adaptation Framework including scientific knowledge on climate changes impacts for Ireland. Part 2 reviews adaptation planning in Ireland to date at a national and sectoral level and then analyses governance and implementation issues related to adaptation. It aims to provide a clear, statutory, government approved mandate for sectors and local government to prepare and implement adaptation plans and local authority adaptation strategies. It will be another step in a process which will evolve and strengthen over time as the knowledge base evolves and the policy responses mature.
Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act
The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act, 2015, sets out a national transition objective to transition to a low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050.
Section 3 of the Act provides that the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment must make and submit to Government a series of successive National Mitigation Plans and National Adaptation Frameworks. Ireland’s first National Mitigation Plan was published on 19 July 2017. The Act provides that the first statutory National Adaptation Framework must be submitted to Government not later than 10 December 2017.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the 2050 transition objective?
The extent of the challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with our International and EU obligations is well understood by Government and is reflected also in the National Policy Position on Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (2014) and the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act, 2015. Both the policy position and legal framework are key elements of the effort to progress the national carbon resilient transition agenda.
The National Policy Position establishes the fundamental national objective of achieving transition to a competitive, low carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050. It sets out the context for the objective; clarifies the level of GHG mitigation ambition envisaged; and establishes the process to pursue and achieve the overall objective.
TheNational Policy Position on Climate Action and Low Carbon Development is available at http://www.housing.gov.ie/environment/climate-change/policy/climate-action-and-low-carbon-development-national-policy-position
How does the National Adaptation Framework link to the National Dialogue on Climate Action?
The National Dialogue on Climate Action will run initially for a period of two years (2017-2019) with administrative support to be provided by the EPA. Membership of the 16 person advisory group on the National Dialogue was announced in July 2017. This group was established to provide advice in relation to the overall strategy, structure and operation of the National Dialogue. In terms of climate resilience (i.e. adapting to climate change impacts), the publication of this draft National Adaptation Framework for public consultation will play a key role in informing the dialogue process and how it addresses the issue of climate change impacts. Awareness raising, capacity building and public engagement with adaptation issues is vital and the Dialogue plays a key role in this.
For further information on the National Dialogue, see here: http://www.dccae.gov.ie/en-ie/news-and-media/press-releases/Pages/Minister-Denis-Naughten-publishes-Ireland's-first-statutory-National-Mitigation-Plan.aspx
What is the role of the Climate Change Advisory Council in the preparation of the National Adaptation Framework?
The Climate Change Advisory Council is an independent, statutory body established pursuant to the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act to advise the Minister and the Government in relation to climate change. The Advisory Council has specific functions under the Act to make recommendations in relation to adaptation policy.
The First Report of the Advisory Council, published in November 2016 and its Periodic Report published in July 2017 set out a number of broad recommendations in relation to the preparation of the National Adaptation Framework and these have been considered in the preparation of the draft. See www.climatecouncil.ie