The Radisson Blu in Athlone was the venue for the launch by Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, Sean Canney TD, of guidelines to help local authorities prepare for the impacts of climate change.
The Government are developing a plan to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change and as the level of Government closest to communities, local authorities have a key role to play in this.
This announcement fulfils a key action under the National Adaptation Framework, with all local authorities required to adopt a local adaptation strategy in line with the published ‘Local Authority Adaptation Strategy Development Guidelines’.
This approach will ensure consistency and coherency across all local authorities. The Department will review these local strategies once completed, with a view to mainstreaming effective initiatives and sharing learnings both locally and regionally.
Addressing those in attendance at the launch, Minister Canney said, “we want to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change, not a follower. That will require a significant step change across government. Being a leader means acting now, stretching ourselves and seizing the enterprise opportunities in a low carbon economy, including the new circular and bioeconomies. Being a follower means the final costs of adjustment are much higher and opportunities much lower or completely lost. Local authorities, as the level of government closest to communities, have a key role to play in this. The sector has already demonstrated a very effective response to extreme weather events in Ireland over recent years and with the recent establishment of the four Climate Action Regional Offices (CAROs ) the sector can now build on this emergency response capacity and drive climate action at local level.”
Under the National Adaptation Framework, twelve national sectors are also preparing sectoral adaptation plans and local authorities will work with these sectors through the Climate Action Regional Offices to ensure effective coordination and coherence on actions proposed. The deadline for the completion of both sectoral plans and local strategies is 30 September 2019.