The National Adaptation Framework (NAF) will set out Ireland's first statutory strategy for the application of adaptation measures in different Government sectors, including the local authority sector to reduce the vulnerability of the State to the negative effects of climate change but also to avail of any positive effects that may occur. A primary objective of the NAF will be to bring a clear and strong focus to both the challenges and the opportunities of transitioning to a climate resilient future, and the importance of a positively focussed and cost-effective national transition agenda.
The NAF will build on the substantial work already carried out under the existing National Climate Change Adaptation Framework (NCCAF, 2012) and ensure that climate adaptation in Ireland is brought forward in line with EU and international best practise. In the interests of an inclusive, informed and transparent process, the views of the public are now being sought in relation to the development of the NAF. A draft of the NAF itself will be the subject of a later and separate consultation process before submission to Government for approval.
The existing Framework (2012) was the first step for Ireland in developing a comprehensive national policy position to address the anticipated impacts of climate change through a structured programme of action on adaptation. The current Framework requires the development and implementation of sectoral and local adaptation plans which will form part of the national response to the impacts of climate change.
As the impacts of climate change vary spatially, adaptation requires locally and sector specific responses, which address not only climate impacts but also integrate coherently with the local fabric of social, economic and ecological systems. As a result, high-level adaptation policy is typically developed by central government but local differences in social and cultural norms, physical environment, land use and economics make adaptation decision-making principally the concern of regional and local scale administrators, businesses and the general public. The framework is, therefore, a national document which sets out the policy to be pursued in relation to climate change adaptation; it does not identify specific locations or propose adaptation measures or projects in relation to sectors. Specific adaptation measures will be developed across sectors, including the local government sector, in accordance with the NAF.
Work on developing the NAF is underway within the Department and it is intended to publish a draft NAF for statutory consultation by end June 2017. An initial consultation on the development of NAF was undertaken and the relevant and the consultation documentation related to it is available below.