- 20 Jul 22
With the extreme effects of climate breakdown becoming more frequent in Europe (though it's been seen outside of the West for years), the Climate Change Advisory Council is urging the Government to invest in adaptive measures rather than mitigation.
With the current heat wave sweeping Europe, and Ireland's Phoenix Park recording the hottest temperature in 135 years this week, the effects of climate breakdown are demanding attention.
The Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC), has appealed to the Minister for Environment, Eamon Ryan for increased resources to be allocated towards adaptation. Ireland has primarily taken mitigation tactics when combating climate breakdown, focusing on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and attempts to reverse some of the damage already done.
Adaptation is the process of adjusting to the already felt realities of climate change. This could include preparation for extreme and unexpected weather conditions (flooding, heatwaves, etc.) or other effects of climate change.
The @IPCC_CH report "Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability" details the impacts of climate change. EPA Programme Manager, Mary Frances Rochford, outlines some of those impacts in this video.#IPCC #climatechange pic.twitter.com/KzT4u1MReB
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Professor Peter Thorne, Chair of the CACC Adaptation Committee, commented by saying “Ireland needs to urgently take the steps required to ensure that it is as resilient as it can be within a world where extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe.
“Decision makers at Government, department, and national level must be better prepared in their adaptation planning and actions so they can take account of the full range of potential changes projected." To be effective, Thorne argues that adaptation governance structures will need to be revised and restructured.
Ireland does have a National Adaptation Framework (NAF) in place from 2018. The NAF set out a strategy to reduce vulnerabilities of the country. The framework is currently being revised in wake of recent developments and there's an ongoing public consultation that launched in May. The review is set to be published next autumn.
Following this review, chair of the CCAC, Marie Donnelly, called it "imperative" that an initial adaptation budget be put in place so that productive measures can be carried out effectively.
Donnelly insists: "this budget must be determined in light of the social cost of climate change over at least the next 30 years and must reflect the need to prioritise funding for adaptation to a significantly greater degree than is currently the case."
The CCAC has contributed to the public consultation process, pushing for the inclusion of financial services, tourism, sports, costal resilience, and the built environment into the developing plans for adaptation measures in Ireland.
Read our interview with Environment Minister Eamon Ryan here.