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National circumstances relevant to adaptation actions

Ireland is situated off the north-west coast of the continent of Europe between longitude 5.5° and 10.5° West and latitude 51.5° and 55.5° North and comprises 70,282 square kilometres. The greatest length of the island from the north to the south is 486 kilometres and the greatest width, from east to west, is 275 kilometres. There are 3,172 kilometres of coastline. The island consists of a large central lowland of limestone with a relief of hills and a number of coastal mountains, the highest of which, Carrantuohill, is 1,040m.

The Shannon, at 340km, is Ireland’s longest river. Ireland’s National Parks are home to some of the most unique and spectacular scenery in the country, while wild bog lands occur in mountain and lowland areas and are among the most distinctive natural habitats in the country. The bio-diversity of wildlife is comparatively low due to Ireland's isolation from mainland Europe with many species present on the continent being absent. Many other common animals and plants have, in fact, been introduced by human settlers.

Ireland has a mild temperate oceanic climate, due to the controlling influence of the Atlantic Ocean. Mean annual temperatures generally range between 9°C and 10°C with the higher values in coastal regions. Summer is the warmest season, followed by Autumn, Spring and Winter. The highest temperatures occur inland during the summer, with mean seasonal maxima between 18°C and 20°C while highest values occur in coastal regions during the Winter. July is the warmest month, followed by August and June; the coldest month is January followed closely by February and then December. A long-term average national temperature series for Ireland, derived using data from five centennial stations, shows that temperatures have varied considerably from year to year. Warming periods occurred in the 1930s and 1940s and from the late 1980s to the present time in line with global trends.

The highest rainfall occurs in the Western half of the country and on high ground, while rainfall decreases to the Northeast. The average annual rainfall is approximately 1230 mm, but totals in excess of 3000 mm may occur on high ground. The driest seasons are Spring and Summer, with an average of approximately 260 mm, while Autumn and Winter have averages of approximately 350 mm. The driest months are April, May, June and July, with an average of approximately 80 mm each month. February, March, August and September have average rainfall totals of approximately 100 mm, while October, November, December and January have averages of approximately 130 mm.

Observations show that Ireland’s climate is changing in line with global trends in terms of sea level rise, increases in average temperature, changes in precipitation patterns and weather extremes (i.e. storms, flooding, sea surges and flash floods). The observed scale and rate of change is consistent with regional and global trends and these changes are projected to continue and increase over the coming decades.
Ireland’s most recent Census, in 2016, shows that Ireland’s population stood at 4,761,865 in April 2016, an increase of 173,613 (3.8%) since April 2011. Ireland’s population has been steadily growing since the 1990s, and has increased by 36% since 1990, although the increase from 2011 to 2016 has been the slowest over that period. The population growth recorded by the 2016 Census was brought about by natural population increases, offset by a small net migration. The average age of Ireland’s population had increased from 36.1 years to 37.4 years over the same period.

Projections indicate that Ireland’s population is expected to reach at least 5.58 million in 2051 with substantial increased in persons aged 65 years and over by 2051. This represents an increase of 13% of the population aged 65 years and older in 2016 to between 23.9% and 27.4% in 2051. The number of persons aged 80 years and over is projected to rise from 147,800 in 2016 to between 535,900 (+262.6%) and 549,000 (+271.4%) in 2051.

Ireland’s population density also increased to 70 persons per square kilometre, although this remains relatively low compared to other European countries. However, 40% of the population is concentrated in the Greater Dublin Area, outside of which the State has a highly-dispersed and low-density population.

In 2019, Ireland published the Climate Action Plan, which sets out an ambitious course of action over the coming years to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving towards a low-carbon climate resilient future. The Plan sets out 180 actions that need to be taken and extends across all sectors of the economy. Progress on the delivery of actions is reported annually to Government.

The 2018 National Development Plan and National Planning Framework will collectively provide a strategic planning and development framework for Ireland and all its regions for the period to 2040. The framework plays a key role in directing climate change mitigation and adaptation actions at national, regional and local levels by ensuring that climate change considerations are further integrated into the planning system, and that they continue to be taken into account as a matter of course in planning-related decision making processes.
All of Ireland’s major cities (Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford) are situated on coastal estuaries. Likewise, much of Ireland’s industry and general infrastructure is coastal, notably power stations, communications and transport hubs. Since the 1980s, the population of Ireland’s coastal areas has been increasing as a result of urban expansion. In 2016, there were 1.9 million persons within 5km of the coast, representing 40% of the total population. Of these 40,468 were living less than 100 metres to the nearest coastline.

With fertile soils and a temperate climate, Ireland has many advantages for farming the land to produce food. Agriculture is dominated by grass based (dairy and beef) system with ambitious plans to increase production (e.g. the Foodwise 2025 strategy) over the coming years. Ireland’s climate is also particularly suited to forestry with sustainable forest management identified as making a key contribution to delivering abatement of carbon dioxide over the period 2021-2030. Ireland’s ocean economy contributed to 1.16% GDP in 2018 and Ireland’s vision for the ocean economy is provided through ‘Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth Our Ocean Wealth – an Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland’ and aims to double the value of Ireland’s ocean wealth to 2.4% of GDP by 2030 (relative to 2007)

Reporting updated until: 2022-03-15

Item Status Links
National adaptation strategy (NAS)
  • actual NAS - adopted
National adaptation plan (NAP)
  • actual NAP - adopted
Sectoral adaptation plan (SAP)
  • actual SAP - adopted
  • actual SAP - adopted
  • actual SAP - adopted
  • actual SAP - adopted
  • actual SAP - adopted
  • actual SAP - adopted
  • actual SAP - adopted
  • actual SAP - adopted
  • actual SAP - adopted
Climate change impact and vulnerability assessment
Meteorological observations
Climate projections and services
Adaptation portals and platforms
  • Established
Monitoring, reporting and evaluation (MRE) indicators and methodologies
Key reports and publications
National communication to the UNFCCC
Governance regulation adaptation reporting
The Irish Meteorological Office, Met Eireann, is the leading provider of weather and climate information and related services for Ireland. Met Eireann maintains the national network for atmospheric and terrestrial observations to support this function and has an open data policy which facilitates maximum use and reuse of its datasets. In collaboration with the Irish Marine Institute, it also maintains the operational Irish Marine Buoy Network, which provides observations on sea state / temperature and surface weather. Some support is also provided by E-SURFMAR - the Surface Marine Programme of EUMETNET (the Network of European Meteorological Services). Ireland’s Universities also play a role in climate observations through a range of nationally and international funded research projects. For example, the Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies (C-CAPS) at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) monitors atmospheric composition including Greenhouse Gases and ozone depleting substances at the Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station contributing to a range of global initiatives including the World Meteorological Organisation/Global Atmospheric Watch. A number of other organisations carry out measurements of land-based and hydrological variables. The most significant of these organisations are the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which oversees land-cover mapping and coordinates certain hydrological measurements such as groundwater and lake levels, and the Office of Public Works, which has an extensive river flow monitoring network.

The state of Ireland's climate observing system has been documented (Dwyer, 2008, 2012; Camaro and Dwyer, 2021) and an action plan to assist the development of a comprehensive, reliable and sufficient national climate observing system has been prepared (Dwyer, 2009). The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) specifies 54 Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) that are key for sustainable climate observations. A GCOS national committee was established in 2018, led by Met Eireann, to promote the GCOS principles.

Climate modelling is a core activity in Met Eireann. Met Eireann has contributed to the scientific development of a new global climate model (EC-Earth) in conjunction with University College Dublin (UCD) and the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC). This was used by Nolan (2015, 2020) to provide an analysis of the impacts of global climate change on the mid 21st century climate of Ireland. Met Eireann is continuing work on global ensemble climate simulations using the EC-Earth model for various emission scenarios as well as downscaling the output for the Irish region. The results from this research will contribute to the next IPCC AR6 report and also feed into the different national and EU climate services projects.

The provision of climate services is a central goal of Met Eireann's Strategic Plan 2017-27. These are being provided through an expanded climate research programme, including analysis and reanalysis of the current and past climate, development of climate services in support of adaptation to climate change at the national scale, and continued climate modelling through the EC-Earth consortium and collaborative research project such as those in the European Research Area for Climate Services (ERA4CS) to provide user specific value-added climate information at a local scale. Met Eireann is also engaging with the OPW and relevant stakeholders in the establishment of the National Flood Forecasting and Warning Service (NFFWS). Met Eireann, as Ireland's representative for two of the Copernicus' implementation bodies (EUMETSAT and ECMWF) and with expertise in the areas on satellite Earth Observation and in situ (non-space) data, has a pivotal role in improving coordination, communication and policy linkage with the Copernicus programme.

The EPA has recently taken on responsibility of Ireland’s climate information platform, ’Climate Ireland’. The platform is the national web-based resource of up-to-date and fit-for-purpose climate and adaptation information and tools. Climate Ireland provides this service for local, regional and sectoral decision-makers in line with the published adaptation strategy development guidelines. Climate Ireland also plays a key role in increasing awareness of and building capacity for adaptation planning through one-to-one support and the provision of tailored adaptation planning workshops and seminars.

The OPW's national flood information portal ‘https://www.floodinfo.ie’ provides access to historical and projected maps of flood extents and flood plans for Ireland. This map and plan viewer website is another important resource, to support planning, emergency response planning, and to empower people and communities to plan and respond to flood risk.
The EPA led Climate Change Research Coordination Group acts to co-ordinate climate change related research in Ireland, including adaptation, while the EPA research report National Preparedness to Adapt to Climate Change: Analysis of State of Play provides an assessment of the enablers and barriers to effective climate change adaptation in Ireland (Desmond, 2018). The Irish Climate Policy Evaluation (ICPE) project evaluates Ireland’s climate change policies including adaptation and progress in implementation (Dekker and Torney, 2021). In terms of impacts, risk and vulnerability, progress has been made in identifying some of the key impacts and vulnerabilities for Ireland. A Summary of the State of Knowledge on Climate Change Impacts for Ireland (Desmond et al., 2017) presents a summary of the state of knowledge on ongoing climate change and projected impacts for Ireland. It updates and enhances the information provided in the 2009 Summary of the State of Knowledge Report (Desmond et al., 2009). The purpose of this report is to provide an accessible summary of the available information in a format that will be of use to policymakers, sectoral and local decision-makers and other stakeholders interested in or working on adaptation to climate change in Ireland. To further support decision-making for adaptation, the EPA is leading the development of Ireland’s first 5-Year Assessment Report (5-YAR) on Climate Research. The 5-YAR will provide an authoritative assessment of our understanding of climate change based on; scientific research and systematic observations in Ireland, linked EU and global analysis and to provide summary information which can inform decision making on climate actions. Further research is, however, needed in Ireland on the vulnerability of key sectors and the identification of critical thresholds. The following projects should be particularly noted under this heading:

• The Climate R|O project funded by the EPA is exploring how Irish businesses need to adapt to climate risks (R) and opportunities (O) in order to be resilient for the future. It's focusing on 7 sectors (Retail, Food & Beverage Manufacturing, Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing, Computer and Electronics Manufacturing, Hospitality and Tourism, Financial Services and Energy) that are important to Ireland's economy.
• The Methodologies for Financing and Costing of Climate Impacts and Future Adaptation Actions: Transport Networks in Ireland (Clarke et al. 2021) provided a methodology for undertaking quantitative risk assessments for transport infrastructure to assess the cost and risk of future climate change impacts. In addition, the project provides recommendations on approaches to improve risk assessment approaches for the purposes of adaptation planning in Ireland;
• The Large Scale Urban Adaptation project (Paranunzio et al. 2020) focused on the Greater Dublin area and developed an understanding of the projected climate changes at an urban scale and provides an innovative regional approach that allows for the integrated assessment and management of current and future climate vulnerabilities within the context of existing climate/non-climate pressures and spatial planning practices;
• The National Risk Assessment of Impacts of Climate Change (C-RISK) (Flood et al. 2020) project provides a methodology comprising 3 tiers of assessment to carry out an effective climate risk screening process in the face of a range of constraints linked with finances, personnel, time and data availability;
• The Irish Climate Futures: Data for Decision-making (Murphy et al. 2019) provides an analysis of the long-term vulnerability to climate extremes for water-sensitive sectors. A framework is also proposed to allow climate information to be tailored to different decision- making needs;
• The Adaptive Responses to Climate Impacts (ARC) project (Doran et al. 2019) provides new empirical evidence on the costs of flooding and exposure to flood risk. The project makes recommendations in relation to flood insurance and local decision-making.
• OPW, through the CFRAM Programme, has undertaken detailed analysis of the potential impacts of climate change on flood extents and hazards and on the potential consequences of flooding in terms of economic damages and assets at risk for two potential future scenarios. This analysis has been undertaken for 300 communities around the country, including cities, towns and other communities at potentially significant flood risk, including 90 coastal communities;
• The Built Environment, Resilient Futures (BE-Resilient) project undertaken at UCD is exploring the adaptation of cities and towns to climate change impacts;
• The EPA-funded Critical Infrastructure Vulnerability to Climate Change (CIViC) study provides an assessment of the vulnerability of elements (water, energy, transport and communications) of Ireland's critical infrastructure to climate change;
• The VAPOR project (Renou-Wilson and Wilson, 2018) undertaken at UCD provides an assessment of the vulnerability of peatlands to climate change and extremes;
• The PhenoClimate project undertaken at UCC provides an assessment of the vulnerability of Ireland’s biodiversity by determining the impacts of climate change on several phenological events across different flora and fauna;
• The Ireland/Wales EU programme (i.e. INTERREG) is also very active under its priority 2 in respect of "Adaptation of the Irish Sea and Coastal Communities to Climate Change". Recently, the governments of the Republic of Ireland and Wales renewed their commitments to the programme through the Ireland-Wales Shared Statement and Joint Action Plan 2021-2025. The programme currently has six projects of direct relevance:
o Ecostructure
o Bluefish
o Acclimatize
o Cherish
o CCAT
o ECHOES
• The European Joint Programming Initiative on Climate Change (JPI Climate) currently funds projects of relevance to Ireland, including: CE2COAST (Downscaling Climate and Ocean Change to Services: Thresholds and Opportunities), CROSSDRO (Cross-sectoral impact assessment of droughts in complex European basins) CoCliME (Co-development of Climate Services for adaptation to a changing Marine Ecosystem) and WatexR (Integration of climate seasonal prediction and ecosystem impact modelling for an efficient adaptation of water resources management to increasing climate extreme).

It is also important to note that as part of the sectoral and local adaptation plan development process that each sector and local authority is required under "Sectoral Planning Guidelines for Climate Change Adaptation" (2018) and “Local Authority Adaptation Strategy Development Guidelines” (2018) to undertake an assessment of current and future climate risks. These impact assessments provide a significant addition to the knowledge base in terms of climate impacts across Government.
For Ireland, the assessment of climate impacts and vulnerability has been undertaken on the basis of on the most up-to-date assessments of climate change for Ireland (Nolan, 2020; Desmond et al. 2017) and sectoral adaptation plans developed in response to the requirements of the Ireland’s National Adaptation Framework and for the following sectors: Agriculture, Forestry and Seafood; Biodiversity; Built and Archaeological Heritage; Transport Infrastructure; Electricity and Gas Networks; Communications Networks; Flood Risk management, Water Quality and Water Services Infrastructure; and Health). These plans were published in 2019 and were developed on the basis of existing science (climate observations and projections and vulnerability analyses), expert opinion and stakeholder inputs. The plans provide a semi-quantitative assessment of observed and projected climate change sectoral impacts and for a range of future climate scenarios.
Observed climate hazards Acute Chronic
Temperature
  • Heat wave
  • Changing temperature (air freshwater marine water)
Wind
  • Storm (including blizzards dust and sandstorms)
Water
  • Heavy precipitation (rain hail snow/ice)
  • Sea level rise
Solid mass
  • Landslide
  • Coastal erosion
Key future climate hazards Acute Chronic
Temperature
  • Wildfire
  • Temperature variability
Wind
  • Storm (including blizzards dust and sandstorms)
  • Changing wind patterns
Water
  • Heavy precipitation (rain hail snow/ice)
  • Sea level rise
Solid mass
  • Landslide
  • Soil erosion
20% of Ireland’s coastline is considered to be at risk of coastal erosion. The coasts most susceptible to coastal erosion are those composed of unconsolidated (soft) sediment. These areas are most common on Ireland's eastern and southern coasts and also in isolated areas, sedimentary bays, on western and northern coasts (e.g. the Shannon estuary, Donegal, Clew, Tralee and Dingle Bays).

Ireland’s agricultural sector is predominately grass-based (dairy and beef). As a result of extreme weather events (heatwave, drought and flooding), fodder crises are not uncommon with significant crises experienced in 1998/1999, 2012/2013 and 2018.

In April 2019, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, submitted the third Article 17 report on the assessment of the conservation status of habitats and species in Ireland protected under the EU Habitats Directive. 15% of assessed habitats were found to be of favourable status while 85% were assessed as unfavourable. Furthermore, 46% of habitats showed ongoing declines based on 12-year short term trend period. For species, 57% were assessed as favourable with a declining trend reported for 15% of species, with freshwater species deemed most at risk, while 17% of species are reported as having an improving trend. On May 9th 2019, Ireland became the second country to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency.

The most recent report on water quality in Ireland produced by the EPA in 2020 shows that 57% of Ireland’s rivers are of satisfactory quality while 43% are unsatisfactory. For lakes, 54% are considered to be of high quality and for ground waters, 8% have unsatisfactory phosphate concentrations and 22% of sites have high nitrate concentrations with 49% of sites showing increasing nitrate concentrations. Estuarine and coastal waters show increasing inputs of nitrate and phosphates for 2019 when compared with the period 2012-2014 with an increase of 24% and 31% loads of nitrogen and phosphorous respectively.

Drinking water in Ireland is considered to be of high quality. According to the EPA Drinking Water Quality in Public Supplies Report: 2019, the quality of public water supplies is consistently high across microbiological, chemical and indicator standards achieving 99.9%, 99.6% and 99.1% compliance respectively. According to the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), Ireland’s public water supply system had a leakage rate of 42% nationally in 2018. In the Greater Dublin area, a new water supply source is required as maximum sustainable abstraction for the river Liffey has been reached. In response, Irish Water is currently planning for a new source of water supply and implemented an extensive upgrade and repair programme.

According to the CSO Survey of Income and Living Conditions, in 2019, 12.8% of the Irish population were considered to be at risk of poverty. Those considered most at risk of poverty were individuals who were not at work due to illness or disability and those who were unemployed. The Trinity National Deprivation Index 2016 identified that the areas (electoral districts) with the highest levels of deprivation are found in cities or in urban areas within predominantly rural counties.

According to the Central Statistics Office, between 2011 and 2016, Ireland’ population increased by 3.8% to 4,761,865 persons. In 2016, 63% of Ireland’s population resided in urban areas while 37% resided in rural areas. Between 2011 and 2016, urban areas saw an increase of 4.9% while rural areas showed a 2% increase in population. By 2040 the population of Ireland could grow to 5.7 million people and with a continued increase in urban populations. As part of Project Ireland 2040 National Development Plan 2018 - 2027 there is a strategic objective to support and enable the sustainable growth of more compact urban and rural settlements rather than continued sprawl and unplanned, uneconomic growth.
The impacts of climate change will be felt on a sectoral basis. It is, however, important to consider the indirect and cross sectoral impacts of climate change whereby impacts in one sector have implications for other sectors, e.g. the Electricity and Gas Network has a large cross-sectoral impact, as the loss of electricity or gas supply could have severe consequences for other sectors.

Key affected sectors

Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Windstorms compounded by waterlogged soils as a result of periods of high rainfall have had a range of impacts for Ireland’s forestry sector including increases in tree mortality on exposed sites, reduced tree growth and windthrow.

Periods of increased temperature and drought have been associated with the occurrence of wildfires with impact for forestry.

For agriculture and forestry, extreme weather events such as storms, flooding and heatwaves have been associated with health and safety issues for farmers and foresters.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Projected increases in temperature may result in faster growth rates which may lead to some reduction in wood quality in some species (e.g. Sitka Spruce). Projected increases in temperature may result in the introduction of new pests or diseases and the impacts of these may be compounded by projected climatic stress, such as drought and increased temperature.

Projected increase in the occurrence and magnitude of storm events will increase the occurrence of windthrow, this is particularly the case for forest plantations located on exposed, windy sites with poor drainage. Large disturbance events may also influence forest age class structure and overall productivity. Higher temperatures and moisture deficits are also likely to increase the risk of forest fires.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Climate change will result in more favourable climatic conditions for forest pests and disease to thrive, leading to some forest species being susceptible to harm.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
For the forestry sector, a number of priority risks have been identified:

• Projected increases in the frequency of windstorms will result in increased windthrow with greater risks for those stands on waterlogged soils;
• Projected increases in temperature will result in changes to pests and disease behaviour and with the establishment of new pests and disease;
• Projected increases in the frequency of heatwaves and drought resulting in the increased frequency of wildfires damaging forests stands.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Flooding has resulted in the service disruption at hospitals (e.g. Letterkenny) while storm events (e.g. Hurricane Ophelia) resulted in disruptions to the provision of outpatient services, hospital procedures and discharges. The number of deaths attributable to such events are not formally collated but is often available through media reports. For example, Hurricane Ophelia was implicated in the deaths of low as a result of emergency response measures, e.g. stay at home. The impact of extreme weather and flooding can have a negative impact upon the mental health of individuals.

Flooding has resulted in habitats that are more favourable for the development of water-borne diseases (e.g. Cryptosporidium) with potential impacts on human health if consumed.

Heatwaves have been associated with an increase in mortality, particularly among more vulnerable elderly populations (e.g. over 65 years). Increases in average air temperature have also been associated with increases in bud-burst/growing season which highlights the potential effects of climate change on the allergy season.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Flood risk due to projected increase in the frequency of heavy rainfall events along with projected increases in sea level may result in the increased disruption of health services due to inundation, impact health through the increased frequency of drownings or injury and indirect impacts including increased mental health impacts.

Projected increases in the frequency of extreme precipitation events may result in more water-borne disease (e.g. E. coli) from contamination of drinking water as a result of overland flows of pollutants. Projected increases in annual average temperature combined with wetter conditions may result in enhanced environmental conditions for bacterial growth and viral survival with potential increase in food-borne disease.

Projected increases in the frequency of heatwaves may result in an increase in heat-related mortality and morbidity. Moreover, increases in average temperatures and in the frequency of heatwaves may result in:
• increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation from higher levels of ambient UV radiation and also from people spending more time outdoors in warm weather.
• weather-driven increases in air pollutants such as ozone, particulate matter (PM) and aeroallergens, aggravating existing health risks from air quality, particularly for vulnerable populations such as older adults, individuals with chronic illness, children and those living in deprived communities.
• increased aeroallergen levels due to a prolongation of the pollen season and an increase in indoor growth of mould and fungus secondary to increased precipitation and flooding.
• the potential to support the emergence or re-emergence of vector borne diseases.

In contrast, projected changes in climate indicate the occurrence of warmer winters, reducing the risk of cold-related illness. However, there may be significant health impacts associated with extreme cold snaps and more frequent heavy precipitation events during winter, including snow, sleet or hail.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Population projections indicate and increase in the proportion of persons aged 65 years relative to the overall population, consequently there is expected to be a rise in the number of people living with chronic diseases. These people will very more severely impacted during a heat wave, leading to individual harm and increased pressure on health services.

Climate change will cause increased temperatures, which may lead to people spending more time outdoors. Irish people with fair skin are considered to particularly vulnerable to UV damage and are at higher risk of skin cancer and could be more vulnerable to the impacts of climate as a result.

In Ireland, there are 1,180 premature deaths per year due to poor air quality. Climate change has the potential to reduce air quality, therefore, people that live in areas that currently have poor air quality are more vulnerable to climate change.

Approximately 720,000 people in Ireland obtain their drinking water from a private supply with VTEC (i.e. E. coli) outbreaks been associated with these. Climate change increases the likelihood of water contamination, e.g. via increased flood occurrence, therefore, people who derive their water from private wells are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
• Projected increases in the frequency of heatwaves may result in increased exposure of Ireland’s population to ultraviolet radiation resulting in the increased occurrence of skin cancer;
• Projected changes in temperature may lead to weather-driven increases in air pollutants resulting in increased health implications for Ireland’s population;
• Projected increases in the frequency of storms will result in infrastructure damage leading to increased disruption of health services;
• Projected increases in the frequency of heatwaves may result in increased level of heat exhaustion, heat stroke as well as aggravating pre-existing health conditions;
• Projected increases in the frequency of extreme precipitation and flooding may result in direct health (e.g. drowning or injury) and indirect health impacts (increases in water vector-borne diseases) and increased damage to healthcare infrastructure;
• Projected changes in the occurrence and intensity of cold snaps may result in increased cold-related illnesses as a result of decreased levels of preparedness.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Windstorms (e.g. Storm Ophelia 2017) resulting in power outages at water treatment plants, wastewater plants and pumping stations have resulted in the disruption of water supply and treatment. Weather conditions during such events can also delay repairs.

Heatwave and drought events (e.g. summer 2018) have resulted in reduced water flows affecting the assimilative capacity of rivers and lakes, depleted water levels in reservoirs and groundwater resulting in depleted levels of water supply. High temperatures also caused increased demand on water resources with water conservation measures being put in place nationally (e.g. hose-pipe ban; water conservation orders).

Extreme precipitation events have resulted in the flooding of water services infrastructure, had adverse impacts on to water quality due to increased runoff and an associated increase in pollutant loading from agricultural and industrial sources. Elevated levels of bacteria in bathing waters following extreme precipitation events have resulted in the issuing of bathing water prohibitions. High flows have put excess pressure on water pumps.

Cold waves and freezing temperatures (e.g. Storm Emma 2018) have resulted in burst or leaking water mains and high water use, thought to be due to taps being left running in homes. Contamination of raw water occurred due to burst pipes and freezing temperatures has led to operational issues at water treatment plants including compromised disinfection systems, freezing valves affecting treatment processes and freezing pumps affecting collection and distribution. In addition, access to water infrastructure has been restricted, particularly in remote areas. Many groundwater sources required generators to pump water and treat supplies.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Projected increases in average temperature and the increased occurrence of invasive species could have adverse effects on the environmental and ecological status of habitats, reducing water quality.

Projected decreases in average annual precipitation, particularly over consecutive seasons and with corresponding increases in annual average evapotranspiration, could result in reduced river flow, reservoir refill capability and groundwater recharge. Lower water tables could modify hydrological conditions leading to increased nutrient and sediment transport to rivers and lakes resulting in significant water quality issues. Lower water levels combined with depletion of Dissolved Oxygen (DO) due to eutrophication and algal blooms and the toxic effects of cyanobacteria may result in increased fish kills and significant damage to pollutant sensitive species.

Projected increases in the frequency of drought could result in decreased water supply while changes in consumption patterns due to higher temperatures and heat-wave events could result in water supply shortages.

High precipitation could result in high pollutant concentrations and loads as a result of overland flows resulting in an increase in nutrient concentrations in rivers, lakes and reservoirs and coastal waters leading to eutrophication and the increased occurrence of algal/cyanobacterial blooms.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Ireland’s water supply may be vulnerable to climate change impacts as infrastructure may come under pressure to meet the long-term balance of water supply and demand under some climate scenarios.

Some natural water bodies and catchments already considered as being of poor status according to the criteria of the Water Framework Directive and may be further impacted as their ability to cope with future environmental impacts is reduced. This has potential to further reduce Ireland’s water supply if ongoing remediation efforts are not successful.

Some natural water bodies and catchments already considered as being of poor status according to the criteria of the Water Framework Directive and may be further impacted due to climate change as their ability to cope with future environmental impacts is reduced. This has potential to further reduce Ireland’s water supply if ongoing remediation efforts are not successful.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
The water services and infrastructure sector face several key risks as a result of climate change. While no extreme or unacceptable risks have been identified, a number of moderate risks were identified, these are:

• Increased surface and sewer flooding leading to mobilisation of pollutants increasing the risk of contaminated water (rivers, lakes, groundwater, transitional and coastal waters);
• Low water flows leading to the reduced dilution of contaminants resulting in elevated concentrations of pollutants;
• Changes in distribution and phenology of biodiversity as a result of increasing temperature leading to detrimental impacts on the structure and function of marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems, affecting the ability of the aquatic environment to provide services necessary for the water quality sector;
• Higher temperatures could increase the viability of pathogens from both rural and urban sources resulting in environmental and public health risks with impacts on service provision;
• Increased water demand as a result of the increased frequency of heatwaves leading to increased strain on water transmission and distribution networks, as well as on supply (abstraction and storage);
• More frequent flooding of water and wastewater asset flooding loss and potential for environmental pollution;
• Increased drawdown in the autumn/winter for to increase storage for potential flood waters. However, should low precipitation follow, water shortages could occur in the following year;
• Reduced availability of water resources as a result of low precipitation over consecutive months;
• Increased storminess, high precipitation and high temperature poses a risk to business continuity.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
For agriculture, increases in Ireland’s average temperature have been associated with an increase in the occurrence of vector borne disease. For example, the blue tongue virus, emerged in Europe from 2006 and in Ireland with evidence indicating that recent climate change has played a role.

Heatwaves have resulted in restrictions on water supply with farmers having to seek out alternative sources of water. Other significant impacts included animal stress and disease pressure, fodder shortages, compliance difficulties with EU nitrates directives in relation to slurry storage and land spreading, irrigation pressure and altered soil quality.

Extreme precipitation events have resulted in flooding of farmland, water damage to land, buildings and farm structures as well as access issues (trafficability for machinery and poaching by livestock). Flooding has caused damage to silage and other feedstocks resulting in fodder shortages. Overland flows of pollutants due to extreme precipitation and flooding has contaminated water sources and increased the risk of diseases for livestock. Flooding has also affected harvesting of crops and timing of planting.

Windstorms have resulted in damage to crops and damage to farm buildings and protective structures. Freezing events has resulted in detrimental impacts for crop production.

For agriculture, extreme weather events such as storms, flooding and heatwaves have been associated with health and safety issues for framers.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Projected increases in temperature may result in the increased occurrence of vector-borne diseases (e.g. Bluetongue virus) with implications for livestock. Increasing temperature and changing precipitation patterns may also affect the lifecycle of diseases and pests that affect livestock, e.g. liver fluke, or the introduction of new diseases.

Projected increases in temperature and the extension of the growing season could result in increased grass yields, earlier harvests and the need or possibility of using different varieties within a crop species. Projected increases in the frequency of heatwaves may result in heat stress leading to health impacts for animals and farmers.

Projected decreases in precipitation during summer and the increased frequency of drought will result in increased water stress, revision to grazing protocols and increased silage/meal requirements. Cracked soils may result in restricted chemical fertiliser application and reduced fertiliser efficiency. Moreover, dry cracked soil could potentially result in exposure of groundwater to pesticides.

Increased frequency of extreme precipitation events will have a range of consequences for soils including decreased trafficability and poaching, compaction, erosion and runoff of nutrients and pesticides, difficulties in harvesting conditions and reduced harvesting windows. Infrastructural damage to farms and dwellings as well as access and transportation difficulties could also become more prevalent if the intensity of storms increases as projected.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Some aspects of the agriculture sector are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than others.

Climate change will negatively impact on a range of habitats, which when combined with more favourable climate conditions and decreased resilience of habitats, will allow greater activity and therefore impact of endemic and invasive pests and disease.

Livestock are particularly susceptible to heat stress caused by high temperatures and humidity, which can harm growth, milk production, and fertility.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
For the agriculture sector, a number of priority risks have been identified:

• Projected increases in the frequency of extreme precipitation events will result in increased levels of runoff and potential water quality issues with implications for slurry storage and land spreading;
• Projected increases in average temperatures, the frequency of drought conditions and extreme precipitation event will affect soil quality and conditions;
• Increased frequency of storms will result in increased levels of infrastructure damage and health and safety issues;
• Projected increases in average temperature and changes in precipitation patterns will result in changing pest and disease behaviour, increased survivability of vector borne disease and the possible prevalence and establishment of new pests and diseases;
• Projected increases in the frequency of heat waves and drought will result in heat stress for animals and farmers and the risk of uncontrolled fires.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Increasing average temperatures are impacting on:
• key phenological phases and geographical distribution of Irish flora and fauna.
• the geographical distribution of bird species with a strong north-eastward shifts in the wintering range of bird species.

Increasing spring temperatures have impacted on the timing of key life-cycle events in a range of plant species, the arrival and departure time of migrant bird species and the emergence of moth species.

Changes in sea surface temperature in combination with other climate-induced changes in oceanic conditions and human impacts (e.g. pollution, habitat loss and over exploitation) are affecting the distribution of fish species. The three main species of migratory fish (salmon, sea trout and eels) have shown declines in number and survival over the past three decades.

Heatwaves have resulted in:
• vegetation stress and decreased water levels due to drought has caused increased aquatic plant growth in lakes, detrimental effects for keystone species (e.g. sphagnum) in peat bogs, and loss of wetland breeding grounds for bird populations.
• increased frequency of wildfires with damages to habitats.

Extreme cold spells have resulted in detrimental effects for wintering wildfowl and birds. Also, extreme cold spells have resulted in detrimental impacts on food sources.

Windstorms have resulted in drying out of sporophyte population while storms have resulted in flooding and erosion of coastal habitats (e.g. machair and dunes).
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
The impacts of climate change on the timing of phenological changes and geographical distribution is expected to continue. Phenological changes in plant and animal phenologies will likely be reflected in Ireland’s biodiversity disruption to previously synchronized ecosystem functioning which could lead to a change in species composition and ecosystem functioning.

Increasing winter temperatures suggests the continued north-east shifts of the ranges of many of Ireland’s watering waterbirds. Increases in frequency of birds, e.g. Mediterranean Gull, currently considered to be rare in Ireland are projected. Many species and habits are expected to experience significant changes in geographical range.

Projected changes in temperature and precipitation will result in a significant loss of suitable climatic areas for peatlands; particularly for low-lying areas of the south and west. Projected increases in temperature and precipitation will result in the increased occurrence of invasive species and competitive pressures for native species. Projected increases in sea surface temperature may have detrimental implications for cold-water fish stocks, e.g. cod and herring; while warmer water species (e.g. hake) may benefit.

Projected increases in the frequency of extreme weather events (e.g. heatwaves, droughts, and storms) may have devastating impacts for Ireland’s coastal habitats. Sea level rise, storm surge and flooding will result in intertidal areas being unavailable for foraging birds. These events may affect the shape of estuaries with effects on the distribution and abundance of invertebrates.

Projected increases in the frequency of extreme precipitation events is expected to result increased levels of runoff affecting water quality and fish survival. Projected increases in temperature and in the frequency of extreme precipitation events may result in the increased frequency of bog bursts and landslides indirectly impacting on other habitats such as lakes.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Habitats that are already degraded, fragmented, and isolated are likely to be the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change as their ability to cope and adapt to new climatic conditions is reduced.

Sea level rise and coastal erosion is projected to result in the loss of coastal habitats, however,
particularly vulnerable are those areas subject to ‘coastal squeeze’. These are habitats that are prevented from extending/migrating landward due to the presence of some fixed or artificial boundary.

Invasive species are projected to be an impact of climate change in Ireland, with freshwater river systems, ponds, mesotrophic lakes, native woodland, lowland heath, coastal floodplain, coastal salt marsh and coastal sand dunes particularly vulnerable to invasive species.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
• Projected temperature increase will result in changes in the timing of seasonal events resulting in disruption of species interactions;
• Projected changes in temperature will result in geographical range of species leading to changes in geographic distributions and abundances;
• Projected changes in temperature and precipitation will result in loss or changes in the structure and functionality of habitats resulting in the loss or degradation of habitats and changes in ecosystem processes;
• Projected sea level rise will result in loss of space for habitats and saltwater intrusion;
• Projected changes in ocean acidity will have detrimental impacts on marine habitats;
• Projected changes in temperature and precipitation will result in the arrival of invasive species more suited to changed climate conditions, some may have negative impacts on the economy (e.g. via impacts on farming and fisheries).
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Coastal erosion is already having significant impacts for built and archaeological heritage with sites and landscapes situated along Ireland’s hard and soft coast lines.

Extreme precipitation events resulting in inland flooding (pluvial and fluvial) have resulted in structural damage, and partial or complete loss of built and archaeological heritage. Flooding also results in the contamination of built and archaeological heritage sites.

Damage from storms (high winds and heavy precipitation) already poses significant risks to Ireland’s built and archaeological heritage with impacts including damage and loss of heritage structures as a result of direct damage and windthrown of trees causing damage to nearby structures. Extreme weather can also disturb and reveal marine and freshwater archaeological sites and the uncovering of human remains due to coastal erosion.

Heavy rainfall is resulting in growth of fungi and mould with detrimental effects for the surfaces and structures of historic buildings and archaeological remains already evident. Heavy rainfall is resulting in rainwater ingress at heritage sites with direct impacts for the walled surfaces and resulting in increases in humidity levels. These increases have encouraged the spread of microbiological activity, affecting electrical systems while trapped moisture is causing mould to grow on the inner walls leading to the deterioration of surfaces. In some instances, these impacts are resulting in closure of heritage sites.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Projected increases in the frequency of flooding as a result of increases in the frequency of extreme precipitation events may result in the partial or complete loss or damage to built and archaeological heritage, potential closure of heritage sites, and health and safety risks.

Projected changes in storm activity are expected to result in increased impacts to built and archaeological heritage sites. In addition to increased levels of direct impacts, such as structural damage and partial or complete loss, indirect impacts as a result of falling trees will increase, potentially altering landscape character and damaging nearby structures and archaeological features. In addition, increases in storm activity will result in increased pressure to respond to an escalating number of exposures of archaeological finds.

Many built and archaeological sites are located in coastal areas in Ireland, consequently projected increases in sea level rise, storms and storm surge have the potential for a wide range of adverse impacts. For example, Ireland’s major cities, home to a wide range of built and archaeological sites (e.g. Protected structures, Libraries and Galleries, archives, and museums) are situated on estuaries and will become increasingly exposed to coastal flooding. Projected sea level rise may also result in increased erosion and will have detrimental impacts for sites situated in coastal areas and underwater cultural heritage while saline intrusion will compromise historic structures and archaeological deposits through physical and chemical reactions. Preservation in situ for underwater archaeology will be compromised as both water temperature and acidity increase.

Projected changes in temperature and relative changes in humidity will create favourable growing conditions for mould growth. Projected increases in the frequency of heatwaves and drought conditions may result in the increased frequency of wildfires with implications for built and archaeological sites and landscapes. Bog bursts are also expected to be more frequent as a result of the increased dry periods followed by heavy rainfall events resulting in loss or damage to archaeological deposits.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Cultural Landscapes may consist of native vegetation species that may not be able to respond to new climatic conditions in some climate scenarios. Levels of preservation of any built and archaeological heritage sites is considered particularly sensitive to changes in climatic conditions.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
• Projected increases in heavy precipitation will result in increased flooding with detrimental impacts for built and archaeological and heritage sites;
• Projected increases in sea levels and storm surge will result in increased frequency of coastal flooding and erosion with significant impacts for coastal and heritage sites situated in proximity to the coast and on estuaries;
• Projected increases in the frequency of heavy rainfall events, drought and storms resulting in landslip and erosion will have detrimental impacts for built and archaeological heritage sites, buildings and landscapes;
• Projected increases in sea level and temperature will result in changing burial-preservation conditions with detrimental impacts for archaeological sites;
• Projected increases in temperature and in the frequency of extreme precipitation may result in increased development of pests and mould with impacts for built and archaeological heritage buildings, collections and landscapes;
• Projected increase in the frequency of heatwaves will contribute to the frequency of wildfire with detrimental impacts on Built and archaeological heritage sites and landscapes;
• Projected increases in temperature will increase the requirement for retrofitting of historic buildings with potential adverse impacts.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Windstorms have a range of impacts on the communications network with overhead copper and fibre lines being particularly exposed to both direct and indirect impacts including the poles themselves succumbing to wind pressure and toppling, or trees or branches falling due to severe wind and damaging of fibre and copper cables resulting in service degradation or loss.

Extreme precipitation resulting in flooding and storm surges resulting in coastal flooding has impacted on underground fibre cabling and this is particularly the case for flood prone areas. Extreme weather events such as flooding, windstorms and freezing events have led to key sites such as radio base and transmission stations becoming inaccessible and leading to interruptions of service.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Projected increases in extreme precipitation will result in the increased frequency of flooding with new areas at flood risk. This will result in the increased exposure of communications infrastructure to flooding impacts. Projected increases in sea level and in the intensity of storms and storm surge may result in the increased exposure of communications infrastructure situated in coastal areas to flooding with potential for infrastructure damage or loss.

Projected increases in the intensity of windstorms will result in increased levels of impacts on communications infrastructure. Projected increases in the frequency of extreme weather events will result in increased accessibility issues to key communications infrastructure resulting in increased levels of service disruption.

Increase in mean temperature and in the frequency of heatwaves could increase the operating temperatures of street cabinets. Currently, active cooling has not been required with passive cooling adequate to offset adverse heat-related impacts
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Overhead lines pose a key component of the communications network. These lines are more vulnerable to the effects of windstorm events. Conversely, the underground parts of the network are not impacted by windstorm events but may be more severely impacted by flooding.

Street cabinets that house communications infrastructure currently employ passive cooling and may be more vulnerable to increases in the intensity and frequency of heat wave events.

Parts of the communication network infrastructure, such as base and transmission stations, are located in remote areas. During extreme weather events these sites may be difficult or impossible to reach if required.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
• Projected increases in the intensity of windstorms will result in increased damages to the transmission network leading to increased service disruption;
• Projected increases in the frequency and extent of flooding (fluvial, pluvial and coastal) will lead to increased inundation and damage to and loss of communications infrastructure;
• Projected increases in the frequency of heatwaves will result in degradation of communications infrastructure (e.g. street cabinets) potentially leading to an increased requirement for active cooling.
• Projected increases in the frequency of extreme weather events will result in increased issues of accessibility to key sites resulting in elongation of period of disruption.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Windstorms have impacted on the electricity distribution system, particularly due to damage from falling trees which results in disruption to electricity supply. Freezing conditions have resulted in damages to distribution systems (overhead powerlines) resulting in disruption to supply. Extreme weather events have resulted in difficulties in accessing key sites, prolonging disruption of services.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Water shortages and drought will have implications for water usage at conventional electricity generation plants which use significant amounts of water (primarily cooling water). Projected increases in the frequency of summer drought may result in soil compaction and damage to underground cables and pipelines.

Seasonal changes in rainfall distribution may result in reduced hydro power generation at certain times of the year. Notably, hydro stations play a role in flood alleviation and projected increases in extreme precipitation events may result in an increasing role of these stations in flood alleviation. Projected increases in the frequency and extent of flooding may result in increased damage to the electricity and gas transmission and distribution systems. Projected change in extreme precipitation events and in the occurrence of drought conditions may have impacts for foundations of wind farms.

Projected sea level rise in combination with projected increases in the intensity of wind storms and storm surge may impact on electricity and gas infrastructure including generation plants, transmission and distribution systems. Salt fog is also considered a risk to transmission assets. Projected increases in coastal erosion may also have adverse impacts on infrastructure and underground utilities.

Projected increases in the growing season in combination with projected changes in intensity of wind storms may result in increased windthrow and damage to transmission and distribution systems.

Projected changes in wind variability will increase the need for generation backup and or storage and stronger winds may lead to turbine shut down or structural damage.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
The electricity transmission system and gas infrastructure are designed and operated to meet the requirements of the relevant Irish and European Standards. There may be instances where these standards would not be suitable for the projected future climatic conditions in Ireland. Consequently, any infrastructure that is in place that is not of sufficient standard for the future climate may be vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
• Projected increases in the frequency of drought conditions may have implications for the provision of cooling water to power plants;
• Projected changes in precipitation variability will have implications for management of reservoir levels and in relation to flood risk management and ensuring adequate long term water supply;
• Projected increases in the intensity of windstorms and in the duration of the growing season may result in increased windthrow leading to damage to overhead power lines;
• Projected increases in the intensity of windstorms may lead to wind turbine shutdown and damage leading to a requirement for increased backup and supply;
• Projected increases in sea level and storm surges will lead to increases in the frequency and intensity of coastal inundation and erosion resulting in impacts on electricity infrastructure (generation, distribution and transmission).
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
On a national basis, fluvial and coastal flooding is the most significant type while in the west of the country groundwater flooding is also a significant source of flooding. Flooding in Ireland has a wide range of impacts including flooding of property and infrastructure, disruption of transport and services and in some cases human fatalities. The Office of Public Works (OPW) is the lead organisation for flood risk management in Ireland.

Through the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Programme (CFRAM), the OPW analysed the potential impacts of climate change on flood extents and on the potential consequences of flooding (economic damages and assets at risk). This analysis has been undertaken for 300 communities around the country, including cities, towns, including 90 coastal communities;

To manage the impacts of flooding, the OPW have developed guidelines under Ireland’s Planning Act which adopt a precautionary approach to future flood risk and provides a clear framework to assist planners in taking flooding into consideration and avoid development within flood prone areas.

Since 1995, the OPW had completed 43 major flood relief schemes by the end of 2018, which provide protection to over 9,500 properties. A further 35 schemes are at various stages of design, planning and construction. An additional 118 scheme are to be progressed as part of the National Development Plan 2018 – 2027. Existing and planned defences will protect 95% of those properties identified as at risk of flooding. To manage the impacts of flooding on agricultural lands, the OPW has implemented various arterial drainage schemes which protects 260,000 hectares of agricultural land.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Projections indicate an increase in intensity of storm, increases in the frequency of extreme precipitation events and increases in sea level which will result in the increased frequency and extent of fluvial, pluvial and coastal flooding. These changes will have a number of impacts for the flood risk management sector.

Existing guidelines on zoning adopt a precautionary approach to climate change and the robust implementation of the guidelines should reduce the potential impacts of climate change on properties developed in the future. The design of flood relief schemes in the current programme of flood relief works includes adaptation to potential climate change impacts as part of scheme identification, development, design and implementation. However, for older flood relief schemes, the standard of protection over time may reduce the inclusion of climate change design.

Projected increases in the frequency of extreme precipitation events may result in saturation and waterlogging of agricultural lands with impacts on arterial drainage schemes. However, projected decreases in precipitation over the summer months which would reduce water tables may mitigate the increased waterlogging from increased rainfall. Project changes in average temperature may result in increased vegetation growth affecting performance of drainage schemes. Water bearing infrastructure that is fed artificially will also be affected by changes in precipitation variability and changes in demand.

Projected sea level rise and increases in the frequency of extreme precipitation may have adverse impacts for arterial drainage schemes in estuarine areas (i.e. embankments) resulting in increased damage and loss.

Projected changes in flooding and sea level rise may affect hydrometric stations and make accessing the gauge more difficult. There will be an increased need for more finely resolved hydrometric data to assess the effects of climate change on flooding. Moreover, a change in focus of hydrometric schemes toward drought and flooding may be required with implications for network design and operation. Further analysis may be required beyond the CFRAM programme to reflect new climate change projections placing a demand on resources to review and update the hazard and risk assessments.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
The inclusion of climate change adaptation measures in the design and construction of flood relief schemes has commenced and will continue into the future. . The standard of protection offered by some older flood relief schemes completed to date may reduce over time as sea levels continue to rise, and if river flood flows and levels rise as a result of the impacts of climate change. Existing Urban Water Drainage Systems have design standards that may not be adequate for projected climate conditions with potential impacts for operational management.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
A number of very high and high priority risks have been identified for the flood risk management sector. Very high priority risks include:

• Projected changes in the frequency an intensity of flooding may mean that standards of protection of existing flood relief schemes is reduced with an assessment of adaptation actions required;
• Projected changes in flooding will mean that adaptation planning will be required at design and implementation stages of flood relief schemes to avoid significantly increased costs of retrofitting adaptation after completion;
• Projected climate changes may increase the requirement for future flood relief schemes and for areas currently at low risk that may become prone to significant risk in the future. The need for such interventions to be considered through ongoing observation and review of projections and risk;
• Projected climate changes may increase exposure to flood risk and for lands that may not have previously flooded, including new developments and the suitability of lands for development.

High priority risks include:

• Changes in precipitation will impact on local (minor works) schemes and adaptation should be incorporated into the design and implementation of minor works;
• Projected increases in flood risk will necessitate the need for increased development of green infrastructure. An assessment of green infrastructure as an adaptation option and in reducing flood flows is needed;
• Projected increases in flood risk may increase the potential economic damages from flooding. Accounting for this increase in the appraisal of schemes will be required to reflect the damages avoided;
• Projected increases in the frequency of flooding of urban storm water drainage will require adaptation of the operating procedures for other water bearing infrastructure;
• Projected increases in the frequency of extreme precipitation events will increase the frequency of flooding, the implementation of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDs) may offset the impacts.
• Projected increases in the frequency of flooding will increase the requirement for more frequent flooding warning.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Climate change including changes in sea surface temperature has associated with changing distributions in fish stock distributions, e.g. a northward shift in cod in the water around Ireland and in north Atlantic mackerel stocks, and changes in spawning behaviour.

Extreme precipitation events have resulted in the destruction of salmonoid habitats, increased mortality of juvenile salmonoids and the disruption of thermal stratification of lakes resulting in reductions in primary production and increased bacterial abundance. In addition, extreme precipitation has resulted of infiltration of pollutants into freshwater and coastal waters with detrimental impacts for fish populations.

Windstorms and storm surges has resulted in the breakup of pelagic fish schools with negative consequences for fisheries. In addition, these storms pose a danger to life and infrastructure in coastal areas and results in reduced accessibility to harbour facilities.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Projected increase in ocean acidity may have impacts on commercially sensitive shellfish (e.g. oysters and mussels) resulting in decreased seafood production. Projected changes in sea surface temperature may result in changes in the distribution of traditional fisheries as the distribution of fish stocks move north with the loss of native species and an increased threat of non-native species. Changes in the timing of fish spawning is expected with subsequent changes in the timing of harvesting. Increases in the occurrence of harmful algal blooms is expected resulting in restriction on shellfish harvesting.

Projected increases in extreme precipitation events may increase the potential for flooding of inland aquaculture facilities. In contrast, projected increases in the occurrence of dry spells may result in low river flows and reduced availability of water for inland aquaculture farms. Reduced water availability may also result in an increased requirement for recirculation and oxygenation of the waters in aquaculture farms.

Projected sea level rise in combination with increases in the intensity of storms and surge events may result in increased damage to fishing vessels and infrastructure, increased tie-up time in ports and health and safety impacts.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Environmental conditions determine the distributions of each fish species. Climate change will result in a change of these conditions and some species may be more severely impacted by these changes than others. Existing harbour infrastructure may be vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
• Projected increases in ocean acidification may affect shell growth in commercially sensitive species (oysters and mussels) resulting in decreased seafood production and economic losses;
• Projected increases in the intensity of storms and the intensity of storms and surge events will result in increased damage to harbour and aquaculture infrastructure and result in extended periods of the fisheries fleet remaining in port;
• Projected changes in oceanic conditions will result in changes in distribution of traditional fisheries with implications for time spent at sea for the fishing fleet;
• Projected changes in oceanic conditions will result in changes in the timing of fish spawning and subsequent changes in the timing of harvesting;
• Projected changes in oceanic conditions will result in the increased occurrence of harmful algal blooms leading to restrictions on shellfish harvesting with potential for economic losses;
• Projected change in precipitation will result increased flooding of aquaculture and reduced availability of water supply in issues with aquaculture site suitability, access and general site management;
• Projected increases in exposure of existing seafood infrastructure to extreme weather events may make existing seafood infrastructure obsolete or require considerable upgrading.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Extreme precipitation events caused fluvial and pluvial flooding of transport infrastructure, rendering key transport routes inaccessible, disrupting journeys for public transport and vehicular traffic. Extreme precipitation events have resulted in the disintegration of road, pavement and cycle lane surfaces. Increases in bridge scour events and landslide risk as slopes become saturated, blocking or damaging travel infrastructure.

Coastal flooding and erosion is impacting on transport infrastructure in Ireland’s coastal areas; Ireland’s eastern rail corridor which connects Dublin and Rosslare Europort is subject to coastal erosion and prone to inundation and washout of the ballast.

High winds have resulted in cancellation and delay at airports and ferry services. Felled trees and debris have disrupted roads while very strong winds make driving conditions hazardous especially for cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclist and high sided vehicles. Storm surges associated with windstorms result in the flooding of coastal transport infrastructure causing disruption and damage to transport hubs and networks.

Heatwaves have resulted in melting of road surfaces. Wildfires resulting from heatwave and drought conditions have caused damage to electricity and telecommunications infrastructure and the cancellation of transport services.

Extreme cold weather has resulted in the cancellation of transport services, the closure of major roads due to snowfall and treacherous road surfaces.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Projected increases in the frequency of extreme precipitation is expected to result in the increased frequency of pluvial and fluvial flooding with a range of impacts on the transport sector including disruption and suspension of transport services, hazardous driving conditions, increases in the occurrence of bridge scour as a result in increased flows and increased landslide risk due to saturation of soils.

Projected increase in the intensity of windstorms is expected to result in disruption of transport hubs and networks. Air and seaports may be subject to increased levels of delay and cancellation while increased disruption of transport networks as a result of fallen trees and debris is expected.

Projected sea level rise (SLR) and increases in the intensity of high winds, storms and storm surges has the potential to significantly impact on the transport infrastructure, particularly transport networks and hubs located in low-lying coastal areas, on eroding coastlines and on estuaries; for instance, the Dublin to Rosslare rail line, which is already particularly susceptible to coastal erosion and flooding.

Projected increases in the frequency of heatwaves and drought may result in the degradation of transport infrastructure, e.g. deformation of road surface and rail buckling. Over-heating of trains, trams and buses could affect passenger comfort and temperature control measures may also be required in transport hubs, particularly airports and public transport depots. Higher average temperatures may also to lead to a rise in active travel, with positive co-benefits for carbon mitigation.

Projected decreases in the number of frost and ice days may result in benefits to the transport sector with decreases in the occurrence of service disruption and minor accidents due to frost and ice.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
Transport hubs and trains, trams and buses with poor ventilation or no active cooling will be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of heatwaves. The transport infrastructure (e.g. road surfaces) currently in place may not have the design or material specifications that are able to cope with future climatic conditions such as heat waves.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
For the transport sector, a number of key areas of risk have been identified as posing a high risk:

• Precipitation extremes and flooding resulting in flooding leading to disruption of transport services, unsafe driving conditions and gradual degeneration of infrastructure;
• Due to the location of multiple transport networks and hubs in close proximity to the coast, projected increases in sea level and in the intensity of windstorms and storm surge will result in the increased frequency of damage, disruption and loss of transport networks and hubs.

In addition, a number of key areas have been identified as posing a moderate risk:

• The increased frequency of heatwaves causing degradation of infrastructure (road surfaces and rail), increased frequency of wildfire resulting in transport disruption, and overheating of trains, trams, buses, airports and public transport depots resulting in passenger and staff discomfort;
• The frequency of freezing events is expected to reduce and the relative rarity of these event may result in greater disruption of services and safety practices in the event of their occurrence and as a result of a lack of preparedness;
• Projected increases in windstorms and storm surge coupled with sea level rise resulting in damage and loss of transport networks and hubs resulting in service disruption.

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the national level

Progress has been made in identifying some key impacts and vulnerabilities for Ireland. Vulnerability and risk analysis are required as part of the sectoral plan development process set out in Sectoral Guidelines for Climate Change Adaptation.

A Summary of the State of Knowledge on Climate Change Impacts for Ireland (EPA,2017) presents a summary of the ongoing climate change and projected impacts for Ireland. It updates and enhances the information provided in the 2009 Report (Desmond et al., 2009).

Adaptation research under the EPA Research Programme is progressed under the following headings:
• Observations, monitoring and analysis;
• Modelling of future climate;
• Impacts, risk and vulnerability assessment;
• Adaptation information and responses.

Documents related to all projects completed under the EPA Research Programme are on the EPA website.

OPW, through the CFRAM Programme, has undertaken detailed analysis of the potential impacts of climate change on flood extents and hazards and on the potential consequences of flooding in terms of economic damages and assets at risk for two potential future scenarios. This analysis has been undertaken for 300 communities around the country, including Ireland’s cities, towns and other communities at potentially significant flood risk, including 90 coastal communities.
Ireland’s first statutory National Adaptation Framework (NAF), prepared under Section 5 of the Climate Act, was approved by Government on 19 December 2017 and published on 19 January 2018.

The NAF and its successors set out the national strategy to ensure local authorities, regions and key sectors can assess the key risks and vulnerabilities of climate change, implement climate resilience actions and ensure climate adaptation considerations are mainstreamed into all local, regional and national policy making. The NAF also supports local and regional adaptation action and the development of local adaptation strategies.

Under the National Adaptation Framework, 7 Government Departments with responsibility for priority sectors were required to prepare sectoral adaptation plans; in line with the requirements of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015. These plans were developed during 2018 and 2019, and approved by government in October 2019.

Each Plan identifies the key risks faced across the sector and the approach being taken to address these risks and build climate resilience for the future. They were developed applying a six step adaptation planning process described in the Sectoral Planning Guidelines for Climate Change Adaptation, published by Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC).

The Plans are now in the implementation phase.

The National Adaptation Steering Committee chaired by DECC provides coherence in adaptation planning. It includes representatives from all the Departments leading on the development of adaptation plans and representatives from other key Agencies. This Committee now maintains oversight of implementation of actions by the relevant sectors, and also facilitates interaction between sectors.

The Climate Action Plan (CAP), published in 2019, sets out actions across every sector of society to ensure Ireland will meet its 2030 climate commitments, putting us on a trajectory to be net zero emissions by 2050. Chapter 16 of the CAP also addresses climate adaptation, primarily in the context of the ongoing implementation of the NAF. Climate adaptation will also be included in future iterations of the CAP. Implementation of the CAP is overseen by the Department of the Taoiseach Climate Action Delivery Board.

The Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC) was established in 2016 under the 2015 Climate Act. The Council, which is independent in the performance of its functions, provides advice and recommendations to, amongst others, the DECC Minister in relation to the preparation of the NAF; the development by a relevant minister of a sectoral adaptation plan; and the approval by the Government of a NAF. Sectors are required to consult with DECC when developing sectoral adaptation plans.
Assessments, including Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of plans and programmes, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) of projects, and Appropriate Assessment (AA), also require the integration of climate change considerations in Ireland. This is important in terms of mainstreaming such considerations in strategic plans and programmes but also in respect of project specifics at a particular location.

The EPA 2015 guidance note on Integrating Climate Change into Strategic Environmental Assessment in Ireland notes that SEA “is now coming to be recognised as perhaps the most flexible and capable instrument of climate policy integration available internationally and nationally.
The NAF has a supporting objective to “Ensure continued alignment with emergency planning for extreme weather events including where plans related to emergencies assigned to a sectoral department as Lead Government department under the “Strategic Emergency Management National Structures and Framework” are climate proofed. “Strategic Emergency Management (SEM) National Structures and Framework” set out the arrangements for the delivery of effective emergency management. This Framework is complemented by a series of ‘SEM Guidelines’ dealing with specific aspects of strategic emergency management. This includes a Guideline on adaptation which is available on the Office of Emergency Planning (OEP) website.
Climate Ireland was developed under the EPA Research Programme as a "one-stop shop" of adaptation information. It provides a central source of climate data for Ireland, with information from a variety sources to assist stakeholders in planning ahead for the impacts of climate change. Climate Ireland provides;
    Tailored information to support awareness and understanding of climate adaptation;
    Essential climate information to support impact and risk assessment;
    Decision making frameworks and tools to support the development of sectoral plans and local adaptation strategies.

Climate Ireland is managed by EPA with support from a research team in the MaREI Centre in University College Cork.

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the sub-national level (where “sub-national” refers to local and regional)

Since 2015, sectoral coordination of adaptation policy has taken place under the auspices of the National Adaptation Steering Committee (NASC) which is chaired by DECC. The Committee was reviewed and restructured under the NAF in 2018 to ensure that a coordinated, comprehensive and coherent approach continues to operate in implementing actions under the NAF. The NASC has a key role to play in promoting and encouraging cross-sectoral cooperation on adaptation.

Members of the NASC include Departments preparing sectoral plans under the NAF; DFAT; Irish Water; EPA; regional and local government; the National Standards Authority of Ireland; and Met Éireann.
In January 2018, the government established four Climate Action Regional Offices (CAROs) in recognition of the commitment by local government to develop and implement its own climate action measures, as well as the need to build capacity within the sector to respond and adapt to climate change.

The CAROs are operated by a lead local authority in each region (Mayo County Council, Cork County Council, Dublin City Council, and Kildare County Council, respectively), and focus on the predominant risks in each geographical area. The CAROs play an important role in ensuring that cross-sectoral issues are identified and addressed, and in community engagement. They also played a key role in coordinating the development of the local authority adaptation strategies, and ensuring their alignment with sectoral adaptation plans.
Under the NAF, Government Departments with responsibility for priority sectors were required to prepare sectoral adaptation plans in line with the requirements of the Climate Act. These plans were approved by Government in October 2019:

• Seafood, Agriculture, and Forestry – Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
• Biodiversity – Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage
• Built and Archaeological Heritage – Department of Housing. Local Government and Heritage
• Transport Infrastructure – Department of Transport
• Electricity and Gas Networks – DECC
• Communications Networks – DECC
• Flood Risk Management – Office of Public Works
• Water Quality and Water Services Infrastructure – Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage
• Health – Department of Health

In addition to sectoral plans prepared at national level, all 31 Local Authorities prepared local adaptation strategies in 2019.
The Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC) is an independent advisory body tasked with reviewing national climate policy. A key task of the CCAC is to conduct an annual review of progress made over the previous year in furthering the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and sustainable economy and society by 2050. The CCAC published its fourth Annual Review in 2020. This includes a chapter on adaptation and outlines the challenges, gaps and barriers to adaptation policy in Ireland.

The 2020 Annual Review states that Ireland needs to move from adaptation planning to adaptation action by implementing the priorities of existing sectoral adaptation plans and local adaptation strategies. CCAC also identifies gaps in some sectors including in financial services, tourism and coastal issues. CCAC identifies the need for local authorities to integrate climate action into their existing functions with adequate resourcing to deliver on this role. The role of spatial planning in ensuring development does not occur in inappropriate locations is identified as essential. CCAC recommends that Government must bring more coherence to how the different adaptation plans and strategies are prioritised and funded, how the costs of extreme weather are assessed, how cities are resourced to prepare and how they learn from the experiences of others. Furthermore, communities, businesses and households will need to take individual action to adapt to climate change.

An analysis of Ireland’s preparedness for climate change was conducted by the European Commission in 2015 and in 2017 as part of the EU Adaptation Scoreboard. Ireland was found to have made insufficient progress in terms of stakeholder involvement in the development of adaptation policy, in identifying adaptation options consistent with the results of sectoral risk assessments, in mainstreaming adaptation across key national policy instruments and in developing systems to monitor and report on climate change adaptation, including adaptation related expenditures.
Ireland’s first statutory National Adaptation Framework (NAF, 2018) represents Ireland’s current national policy response to the challenges posed by the impacts of climate change. The National Adaptation Framework sets out 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 and to avail of any positive impacts that may occur.

The NAF identifies 12 priority actions and related supporting objectives that are to be progressed in order to support and advance the implementation of climate adaptation policy at national, regional and local level in Ireland. Ireland’s Annual Transition Statement 2019 contains a summary of the progress made in on these priority actions since the Framework’s publication in January 2018.

Key actions of the NAF include:
• Preparation of individual sectoral adaptation plans for 12 key sectors under 7 Government Departments .The completed plans must be submitted to the Government for approval is no later than 30 September 2019.
• Putting in place revised governance and reporting arrangements.
• Formalising the status of existing adaptation guidelines and decision making supports: These include the online climate information platform Climate Ireland, “Sectoral Planning Guidelines for Climate Change Adaptation” for the 12 key sectors (published in May 2018) and “Local Authority Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Development Guidelines” (published in December 2018).
• Increasing awareness around climate adaptation and resilience.
• Integrating climate adaptation into key national plans and policies.

These actions are also underpinned by supporting objectives for the Framework including;
• assessing key risks and vulnerabilities.
• better coordination of national research priorities.
• ongoing reporting at National, EU and international level.
• increased alignment with strategic emergency planning.
• further analysis of the implications of climate change and adaptation for the private sector.

The completed sectoral plans describe and assess the extent of the risks presented by climate change to the sector, and present contingency plans to address these risks and ensure climate resilience of the sector. They include actions to mainstream adaptation into policy and administration at the sectoral level. In addition, they include actions to improve cooperation and coherence across other sectors and with the Local Government sector. Sectoral plans are grouped under four thematic areas; Natural & Cultural Capital, Critical Infrastructure, Water Resource & Flood Risk Management and Public Health Natural & Cultural Capital – Sectors: Seafood, Agriculture, Forestry, Biodiversity, Built and Archaeological Heritage,Critical Infrastructure – Sectors: Transport infrastructure, Electricity and Gas networks, Communications Networks, Water Resource & Flood Risk Management - Sectors: Flood Risk Management, Water Quality, Water Services Infrastructure, Public Health – whole sector.

It is not possible to provide a summary of each plan within this reporting template. An overview of all sectoral plans is provided in the Annual Transition Statement 2019 and all sectoral plans are published online on the sectoral adaptation planning page of Gov.ie

Selection of actions and (programmes of) measures

Not reported


The NAF sets out the national strategy for the application of adaptation measures by a local authority in its administrative area in order to reduce the vulnerability of the State to the negative effects of climate change and avail of any benefits that may occur. Under the NAF each local authority were required make and adopt a local adaptation strategy Local Adaptation Strategy Development Guidelines.

The Guidelines are structured around a 5 step planning cycle: 1) Preparing the Ground; 2) Assessing the Adaptation Baseline; 3) Identifying Future Climate Impacts, Vulnerabilities and Risks; 4) Identifying, Assessing and Prioritising Adaptation Actions; 5) Drafting, Implementing and Monitoring the Strategy. In supporting local authorities in developing their adaptation strategies, an online Local Authority Adaptation Wizard has been developed and deployed on Climate Ireland.

The strategies were completed by each local authority by 30 September 2019 in line with the deadline established at national level. Local authorities were supported in developing their adaptation strategies by the Climate Action Regional Office (CARO) in their region. Strategies were also formally adopted by each local authority. Implementation of each strategy is a matter for each individual local authority.

The Climate Change Adaptation Strategy takes on the role as the primary instrument at local level to:
(i) Ensure a proper comprehension of the key risks and vulnerabilities of climate change
(ii) Bring forward the implementation of climate resilient actions into the functions of a local authority in a planned and proactive manner and,
(iii) Ensure that climate adaptation considerations are mainstreamed into all plans and policies and integrated into all operations and functions of a local authority.

While it is not possible within the limitation of this reporting template to provide a detailed description of each of the 31 strategies that have been developed in Ireland strategies are structured in a consistent manner based around the following information
(a) Information on Regional and Local Context including an overview of the relevant CARO and the local authority.
(b) Adaptation Baseline Assessment an overview of climate hazards to have affected the authority and provide a description of the local scale impacts and consequences for the delivery of services by the local authority. Case study examples around specific events timeline of climate hazards to have impacted upon the authority;
(c) Climate Risk Identification an overview of the relevant projected climate changes and impacts according to the key operational areas of the local authority and where opportunities/benefits have been identified, these should also be noted. A Risk Register should be presented and priority risks highlighted
(d) Adaptation Goals, Objectives and Actions; an outline adaptation goals and objectives and provide an overview of the adaptation action plans developed and how the implementation of adaptation actions will be managed, referring to spatial planning mechanisms, instruments of local and national policy implementation as appropriate
(e) Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation; mechanisms put in place to monitor the impacts of climatic events and trends as they occur and describe the scheduling of evaluation of the strategy.

Actions included in strategies are generally developed in line with a number of thematic priority areas relevant to the function of local authorities in Ireland. For example actions in the Clare County Council Local Adaptation Strategy are grouped around the 6 themes of Local Adaptation Governance and Business Operations, Infrastructure and Built Environment, Land use and Development. Drainage and Flood Management, Natural Resources and Cultural Infrastructure, Community Health and Wellbeing

It is important to note that many local authorities used the development of the local adaptation strategies to advance a number of objectives in relation to climate mitigation.

A local authority progress reporting template was developed by the CAROs to enable the local authority sector to report on the progress of the implementation of their climate change adaptation strategies / climate action plans on an annual basis to the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications. One report has been completed to date.
Ireland’s NAF contains 2 key actions specifically in relation mainstreaming. Action 10 requires Integration of climate adaptation within all relevant national policy and legislation (budgetary process, Capital Investment Planning etc). Action 11 states “Ensure climate proofing considerations are fully integrated into arrangements and reforms arising from the new Ireland 2040 – National Planning Framework including Guidelines, updated guidance on adaptation proofing of SEA and EIA and also in revisions of building standards”.

The effective integration of adaptation into decision making (mainstreaming) requires strong coordination of adaptation from centres of power at national level. Ireland’s sectoral adaptation plans are a key policy instrument for the effective mainstreaming of climate adaptation across key sectors. Local adaptation strategies are a similar policy instrument at local level. A critical undertaking for other relevant Government Departments is to take a leadership role in implementing the Framework by mandating and supporting adaptation planning and implementation of actions within their Departments and Agencies in line with the requirements of the 2015 Act and the NAF. Departments are required in NAF to cooperate in other adaptation-relevant areas that may not come under their direct remit but that may, nonetheless, require their input and advice. This is particularly relevant in areas such as flood risk management, critical infrastructure, marine and coastal issues and emergency planning, where statutory responsibilities lie across a number of Government Departments and where existing structures can facilitate such cooperation (e.g. Interdepartmental Marine Interdepartmental Flood Policy Coordination Group, National Coastal Change Management Strategy Steering Group Government Task Force on Emergency Planning)

The planning process also provides an established means through which climate change adaptation objectives can be integrated and implemented at local level in Ireland. Planning legislation already requires different levels of the planning process to address climate change. The NAF identifies the importance of spatial planning as a means of integrating climate adaptation into national policies. It identifies the importance of considering heat-island effects, biodiversity and green spaces, development layouts and building materials within existing planning decision making processes.

Project Ireland 2040 is the government’s long-term overarching strategy to make Ireland a better country for all of its people. The plan changes how investment is made in public infrastructure in Ireland, Alongside the development of physical infrastructure, Project Ireland 2040 supports business and communities across all of Ireland in realising their potential. The National Development Plan and the National Planning Framework combine to form Project Ireland 2040. Climate action has been identified as a Strategic Investment Priority in Ireland 2040. Under Ireland 2040 a total of €940 million has been identified to implement flood relief projects within the Office of Public Works (OPW) Capital Works Programme.

Assessments such as Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of plans and programmes, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) of projects and Appropriate Assessment (AA) also require the integration of climate change considerations. This is important in terms of mainstreaming such considerations in strategic plans and programmes but also in respect of project specifics at a particular location.

The guidance document, Strategic Emergency Management Guideline 4 – Climate Change Adaptation, provides guidance that addresses:
a) Consideration of climate change projections for Ireland during the response to emergencies and in emergency planning
b) Ensuring that relevant likely impacts of climate change in Ireland on diverse sectors are addressed, in order to build resilience to climate change across Irish society and the economy,
c) Where to find information on climate change projections, predicted impacts, adaptation options, and national policy on climate change adaptation, in particular the National Adaptation Framework (NAF) (DCCAE, 2018a) and Sectoral Adaptation Plans (Government of Ireland, 2019b-j),
d) National, regional and local coordinating structures for climate change adaptation, and
e)Integration of national policy and approaches within the wider European Union (EU) and international policy on climate change adaptation.
The Citizens' Assembly was an exercise in deliberative democracy, placing the citizen at the heart of important legal and policy issues facing Irish society. The Assembly tasked its 100 citizen Members to consider topics one of which was ‘How the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change’.

Their conclusions formed the basis of reports and recommendations that were submitted to Ireland’s Parliament for further debate.

The Assembly met over two weekends in 2017 to deliberate, and of particular relevance to climate adaptation are the following recommendations which emanated from these discussions;
• The State should take a leadership role in addressing climate change through adaptation measures including, for example, increasing the resilience of public land and infrastructure.
• The State should undertake a comprehensive assessment of the vulnerability of all critical infrastructure (including energy, transport, built environment, water and communications) with a view to building resilience to ongoing climate change and extreme weather events.

The reports and recommendations of the Assembly were published in April 2018. A Parliamentary Committee on Climate Action was subsequently established and published its own report in March In parallel to the Citizen’s Assembly process a National Dialogue on Climate Action (NDCA) was established in 2017 in accordance with the programme for government.

The NDCA is seen as a useful tool to engage people with the challenge of climate change; motivate changes in behaviour; and create structures at local, regional and national levels to support the generation of ideas and their translation into appropriate cost-effective actions. The objectives of the NDCA are to; The NDCA has held a series of regional meetings in Ireland to date as well as a series of other events and public engagement initiatives. including;
• Our Community Climate Action Tidy Towns award
• EPA climate lecture series
• Development of NDCA Resources, Knowledge Base and Engagement Tools
• Youth and Community Engagement Initiatives
• Support for independently-produced media content

Ireland’s latest Programme for Government from 2020 recognises that all sectors must play their part to achieve our climate goals in a fair way, and the important role of communities in achieving the climate actions required to meet our obligations.

A new enduring structure is being developed for the NNDCA which aims to increase awareness, engagement and will give all of society the opportunity to fully engage constructively in climate action.

This new structure will harness existing networks, support better communications, and involve specific stakeholder groups including. It will have a strong action focus, promoting and leveraging citizen, sectoral and regional involvement in delivering actions within their sphere of influence, including bringing about long-term behavioral change.

DECC is also supporting An Taisce Environmental Education Unit (Green Schools) in the roll out of its National Climate Change Action and Awareness Programme (NCCAAP) which includes the Climate Ambassador Project. The aim of the project is to identify champions in schools, campuses and the community who will work as ambassadors’ for climate change to increase awareness of the causes and outcomes of climate change and undertake actions in their schools, campus or community to make them more resilient to climate change by improving their local environment. The pilot programme selected 108 ambassadors from 22 Counties (Dublin the largest at 31, Cork with 19 and Mayo with 11); 60 community members, 20 3rd level students and 28 secondary school students. The Ambassadors have undertaken training by An Taisce in Climate Science and Communications.

Other actions under the NCCAAP include
• Teacher training
• Secondary school resources packs (
• Green schools Climate Action Week
• Climate Change Expo ‘Green Schools Climate Action Expo’ RDS 22nd February 2018 with over 5,000 mainly students, in attendance.

In 2019, the County and City Management Association (CCMA) and the Association of Irish Local Government (AILG) approved a Local Authority Climate Action Training Plan), which sets out the short, medium and long term training requirements of the local government sector in line with the above stated commitments. The plan identifies a requirement to train all circa 29,000 local authority staff and 949 elected members over a four-year period, 2020–2023. Training will be delivered in areas such as climate science, the translation of international and national policy to local requirements, practical adaptation and mitigation measures, leadership, local innovation and behavioural change. The requirement for additional technical training for the roll out of specific projects is also identified in the training plan.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment committed to allocating a sum of €670,000 to fund, during 2020, the initial stages of implementing the Local Authority Climate Action Training Plan. The delivery of the training programme is being managed by Kildare County Council, as the Lead Authority for Climate Action Regional Office in Eastern and Midlands Region, in collaboration with Tipperary County Council, as the lead authority for the Local Authority Services National Training Group.
In 2010, Forfás published a report titled Adaptation to Climate Change: Issues for Business which stated that a changing climate brings risks and costs, concluding that an early adaptation measures can reduce the costs of climate change for businesses and the economy and that once properly prepared, that adaptation may also provide opportunities for businesses in Ireland.

The Forfás report noted specific responses to deal with adaptation including:

• Adapting and applying business planning tools to help business adaptation.
• that both new and existing professionals have developed the skills necessary to respond to climate change.
• Creating, gathering and sharing sector-specific information on adaptation by sector organisations.
• Assessing current business supports to understand their potential to support adaptation.
• Continuing to ensure enterprise development agencies continue to incorporate climate change adaptation research and considerations in their work.

The NAF identifies that the physical effects of climate change will be a key influence on important business decisions such as investment location and prioritises. Further analysis of the implications from an enterprise perspective of climate change and adaptation/resilience for the private sector is identified as a research priority on NAF.

The ongoing EPA research project, Climate R/O, led by Sustainability Works, aims to help to fill this research gap and identify the biggest climate risks and opportunities for key sectors of the Irish economy. As part of the project the researchers have reviewed the latest science, spoken with companies and trade bodies, and gathered insights from the finance and energy sectors. As part of the project the researchers held a series of workshops covering 4 key sectors of the Irish Economy, Computer & Electronics Manufacturing: Retail, Hospitality and Tourism and Food and Beverage Manufacturing.

The aim of the seminars was to:
• Learn about the climate change impacts that are predicted for Ireland
• Understand climate risks and opportunities for the private sector, supported by real world case studies
• Hear from guest speaker Professor Andreas Hoepner on what’s happening at EU level with investors and policymakers, and what this means for business
• Get practical advice on assessing climate change impacts for business

The seminars were held to help inform the final results of the project and recommendations to policymakers. The project is scheduled to conclude later in 2021.
Progress has been made in identifying some of the key impacts and vulnerabilities for Ireland. In the development of sectoral adaptation plans, vulnerability and risk analysis are required as part of the plan development process set out in Sectoral Guidelines for Climate Change Adaptation. These assessments will be revised and updated in the next cycle of sectoral adaptation plans to reflect updated climate projection information.

A Summary of the State of Knowledge on Climate Change Impacts for Ireland (EPA,2017) presents a summary of the state of knowledge on ongoing climate change and projected impacts for Ireland. It updates and enhances the information provided in the 2009 Summary of the State of Knowledge Report (Desmond et al., 2009).

The EPA Research Project Nolan P, Flanagan J (2020) High-Resolution Climate Projections for Ireland – A Multi-model Ensemble Approach. EPA Research Report, 339 downscales multiple global climate models to provide a higher resolution update of climate projections for Ireland used to develop the first cycle of sectoral adaptation plans. These climate projections, which will be made available via Climate Ireland (www.climateireland.ie) will need to be analysed to to identify potential impacts for different sectors in different parts of the country. This work will then feed into revisions of national policies, including the next iteration of sectoral adaptation plans.

To further support decision-making for adaptation, the EPA is leading the development of Ireland’s first 5-Year Assessment Report (5-YAR) on Climate Research. The 5-YAR will provide an authoritative assessment of our understanding of climate change based on; scientific research and systematic observations in Ireland, linked EU and global analysis and to provide summary information which can inform decision making on climate actions. Further research is, however, needed in Ireland on the vulnerability of key sectors and the identification of critical thresholds. The following projects should be particularly noted under this heading:

A list of the most notable projects in this area is provided in Section 1.2(b) of this report

The ongoing EPA Research project Policy Coherence in Adaptation Studies: Selecting and Using Indicators of Climate Resilience " (2018-CCRP-DS.16) (PCAS) project combines an analysis of international best practice and approaches to the development of climate change indicators co-designed by key stakeholder representatives to identify a tailored suite of Ireland-relevant climate adaptation indicators. The results of this project along with proposals on indicators announced in the recent EU Adaptation Strategy will inform Ireland’s approach to indicators at national level.
DECC leads and coordinates national adaptation policy and supports the implementation of the NAF at national, sectoral and local government levels working through the National Adaptation Steering Committee (NASC) under the 2015 Act.

Implementation of sectoral plans is monitored via the NASC and by the the D/Taoiseach Climate Action Delivery Board which oversees implementation of Ireland’s Climate Action Plan including adaptation measures. Implementation of sectoral Plans falls under the remit of appropriate Ministers.

Annual Transition Statements (ATS) on adaptation policy measures adopted in the previous year, including updates on implementation of NAF and sectoral plans, must be made by relevant Ministers identified in the NAF . The last ATS from 2019 is published on the Oireachtas website.

The Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC) also has a number of reporting obligations including annual and period reviews of progress. its the first periodic report was published in July 2017 and the most recent at end 2020.

In 2016, the CCAC established an Adaptation Committee to consider matters relating to climate change adaptation. This includes:
• national policy related to climate change adaptation, in particular the NAF, Sectoral and Local Adaptation Plans
• contributions on climate change adaptation for council reports
• council statements related to climate impacts, risks and vulnerabilities
• any other issues delegated to the Committee by the Council

The CCAC's Annual Review under the Climate Act assesses implementation of adaptation policy and progress towards climate resilience. The CCAC has indicated that the implementation and funding of the sectoral adaptation plans and local adaptation strategies will be considered in future Annual Reviews. CCAC Annual reviews and responses by CCAC to all sectors in relation to the development of the sectoral plans are published on the CCAC website

Four Climate Action Regional Offices (CAROs) were established to drive climate action and link the local and national level. Work programmes are overseen by a National Steering Committee including DECC. CAROs are represented on the NASC. Local adaptation strategy implementation progress is reported to DECC by CAROs annually and monitored on an ongoing basis via CARO oversight structures.
The NAF and its sectoral plans form part of an iterative process and will be revised at a minimum every 5 years to reflect developments in science and to facilitate the modification and escalation of adaptation actions as necessary in line with National priorities, CCAC recommendations and Ireland’s EU and International obligations

An update on progress made in implementing the NAF is provided in the Annual Transition Statement 2019 available on the Oireachtas website. Implementation of sectoral plans is primarily a matter for the Government Department which developed it. DECC oversees the implementation process via the NASC and has sought annual implementation progress reports from Departments. The first cycle of Sectoral plans were approved by Government in October 2019. One report received to date illustrates well progress and action across a number of areas including:
• enhancing cooperation and coordination across agencies and different bodies on adaptation
• enhancing collaboration with the local authority sector
• capacity building.
• Research actions
• Data collection and knowledge sharing

A local authority progress reporting template was developed by the CAROs to enable that sector to report on the progress of the implementation of its climate change adaptation strategies / climate action plans annually to the DECC. One report has been completed and submitted to DECC to date. Most actions completed to date can be classified as soft. In total, Local Authorities adopted 2,451 actions across all 31 adaptation strategies covering areas including adaptation, mitigation, awareness building, and community engagement. Actions completed across all 31 strategies to date include:

• 12 actions relate to establishing an adaptation steering group, with another 4 putting a Climate Action Officer in place.
• 14 actions lead to the mainstreaming of climate change / action considerations into plans and policies of local authorities as well as 7 actions also mainstreaming biodiversity considerations into relevant plans / policies.
• 5 actions put climate action as a standing item on the agenda for senior management team meetings,
• 5 actions relate to mainstreaming within business continuity plans
• 8 actions focused on increasing the capacity of emergency response around and clean-up after extreme events
• 4 actions related to monitoring & review systems of impacts during extreme events including resources used
• 5 actions relating to flooding management and flood alleviation schemes.
 Other common actions within strategies include actions relating to
• Waste management & single-use plastic policies
• Building energy efficiency and retrofit plans
• Improving teleconferencing facilities / working hubs
• Incorporating climate considerations into the design, planning and construction of infrastructure
     

All adaptation strategies are accessible via the Climate Ireland or on the website of the local authority that developed it.
Project Ireland 2040 is the government’s long-term overarching strategy to make Ireland a better country for all of its people. The National Development Plan and the National Planning Framework combine to form Project Ireland 2040. The plan changes how investment is made in public infrastructure in Ireland. Alongside the development of physical infrastructure, Project Ireland 2040 supports business and communities across Ireland in realising their potential. Climate action has been identified as a Strategic Investment Priority in Ireland 2040 and a total of €940 million has been identified to implement flood relief projects.

Ireland is examining how best to improve its capacity to capture data on the direct and indirect costs of climate change and the economic benefits of adaptation responses. MRE mechanisms are established to better capture sectoral responses to the impact of climate change and allow for greater coverage of sectoral measures. Further work is needed to allow for more comprehensive and consistent reporting on spending on national climate adaptation expenditure.

From 2021, the Climate Change Advisory Council is funding a two-year research fellowship titled ‘An Economic Assessment of Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Options in Ireland’ with the ESRI.

This will enhance the scientific evidence of climate change impacts for Ireland, creating a better understanding of which impacts we face, their severity and who will bear the costs.

Adaptation options that can be applied to reduce the initial impacts identified will be quantified in terms of economic costs and benefits.
The NAF and its related sectoral plans form part of an iterative process and will be revised at a minimum every five years to reflect developments in scientific knowledge and to facilitate the modification and escalation of adaptation actions as necessary in line with National priorities, CCAC recommendations and Ireland’s EU and International obligations including any obligations in relation to the reducing climate impacts, vulnerabilities and risks.

Ireland is at a relatively early stage in implementing adaptation policies at national and local level and the MRE methodology used will be more effectively to measure progress in this area over the medium to longer term.

The EPA Research Project Nolan P, Flanagan J (2020) High-Resolution Climate Projections for Ireland – A Multi-model Ensemble Approach. EPA Research Report, 339, downscales multiple global climate models to provide a high resolution set of climate projections for Ireland. These climate projections will need to be analysed to identify potential impacts for different sectors in different parts of the country. This work will be used to feed into revisions of national policies, including for example the next iteration of sectoral adaptation plans.

To further support decision-making for adaptation, the EPA is leading the development of Ireland’s first 5-Year Assessment Report (5-YAR) on Climate Research. The 5-YAR will provide an authoritative assessment of our understanding of climate change based on; scientific research and systematic observations in Ireland, linked EU and global analysis and to provide summary information which can inform decision making on climate actions. Further research is, however, needed in Ireland on the vulnerability of key sectors and the identification of critical thresholds. The following projects should be particularly noted under this heading:

A list of the most notable projects in this area is provided in Section 1.2(b) of this report

Additional progress in covering this this area within national MRE mechanisms is required. Ireland does not currently undertake a standalone CCVA. Ireland will continue to build its knowledge base through targeted research covering priority research gaps on impacts and vulnerabilities. This area will also be further considered in planned revisions to the National Adaptation Framework and to Sectoral Adaptation Plans.

The ongoing EPA Research project Policy Coherence in Adaptation Studies: Selecting and Using Indicators of Climate Resilience " (2018-CCRP-DS.16). (PCAS) project combines an analysis of international best practice and approaches to the development of climate change indicators co-designed by key stakeholder representatives to identify a tailored suite of Ireland-relevant climate adaptation indicators. The results of this project along with proposals on indicators announced in the recent EU Adaptation Strategy will inform Ireland’s approach to indicators at national level.
The NAF and its related sectoral plans form part of an iterative process and will be revised at a minimum every five years to reflect developments in scientific knowledge and to facilitate the modification and escalation of adaptation actions as necessary in line with National priorities, CCAC recommendations and Ireland’s EU and International obligations including any obligations in relation to increasing adaptive capacity

Ireland is at a relatively early stage in implementing adaptation policies at national and local level and the MRE methodology used at national level will be better able to examine how existing MRE mechanisms can be better used to measure progress in increasing adaptive capacity.

Some progress has been evident that may be relevant under this heading and that have already been reported in other sections of this report.

This includes, but is not limited to;
• Established horizontal and vertical coordination mechanisms have been established on adaptation at national level
• A Climate Information Platform, Climate Ireland established within EPA
• 7 sectoral adaptation plans have been developed across 12 sectors
• Climate change is being considered by the Government in its responses flood risk and coastal change
• Adaptation planning mechanisms are provided for in legislation and are subject to regular review by Government
• The CCAC has been established and provides independent and regular advice to Government on adaptation
• Adaptation planning has been established within Ireland’s Local Government sector.

Ireland will examine how best to report on this item in future reporting cycles with having regard to guidance from the Commission and best practice examples submitted by other Member States. Each year since 2017, the CCAC review under the Climate Act considers the implementation of adaptation policy and assesses progress towards climate resilience. CCAC Annual reviews and responses by it to all sectors in relation to the development of the sectoral plans are published on the CCAC website.
The NAF and its related sectoral plans also form part of an iterative process and will be revised at a minimum every five years to reflect developments in scientific knowledge and to facilitate the modification and escalation of adaptation actions as necessary in line with National priorities, CCAC recommendations and Ireland’s EU and International obligations including any obligations in relation to the reducing climate impacts, vulnerabilities and risks.

Ireland is at a relatively early stage in implementing adaptation policies at national and local level and the MRE methodology used will be better able to measure progress in this area over the medium to longer term. A summary of current state of play on implementation of sectoral adaptation plans and local adaptation strategies is provided in a previous section.

Each year since 2017, the CCAC review under the Climate Act considers the implementation of adaptation policy and assesses progress towards climate resilience. CCAC Annual reviews and responses by CCAC to all sectors in relation to the development of the sectoral plans are published on the CCAC website.

The CCAC submitted a review of the adaptation planning process (Progress towards a Climate-Resilient Ireland: Review of Statutory Sectoral Adaptation Plan Making 2018-2019) to the Department of the Taoiseach and the then Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment in December 2019. This document examines the llearnings from the first cycle of statutory adaptation plan making under the Climate Act 2015 and NAF. The recommendations in this document are being considered and will be used as an input into planned revisions to the National Adaptation Framework and also to any revision to national guidance on adaptation. The report is published on the CCAC website.
The NAF and the sectoral plans produced under the NAF form part of an iterative process and will be revised at a minimum every five years to reflect developments in scientific knowledge and to facilitate the modification and escalation of adaptation actions as necessary in line with National priorities, CCAC recommendations and Ireland’s EU and International obligations including any obligations in addressing barriers to adaptation.

The MRE methodology used will be better able to measure progress in in implementing adaptation policies at national and local level over the medium to longer term. A summary of existing barriers to adaptation identified for Ireland is provided earlier in this report.

Since 2017, the annual CCAC review under the Climate Act considers the implementation of adaptation policy and assesses progress towards climate resilience. CCAC Annual reviews and responses by CCAC to all sectors in relation to the development of the sectoral plans are published on the CCAC website.

As previously noted, the CCAC submitted a review of the adaptation planning process (Progress towards a Climate-Resilient Ireland: Review of Statutory Sectoral Adaptation Plan Making 2018-2019) to the Department of the Taoiseach and the then Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment in December 2019. This document examines the lessons that can be learned from the first cycle of statutory adaptation plan making under the Climate Act 2015 and NAF. The recommendations in this document, are being considered and will be used as an input into planned revisions to the National Adaptation Framework and in any revision to national guidance on adaptation.
The EPA Research Project Nolan P, Flanagan J (2020) High-Resolution Climate Projections for Ireland – A Multi-model Ensemble Approach. EPA Research Report, 339 downscales multiple global climate models to provide a high resolution set of climate projections for Ireland. These updated climate projections for Ireland will need to be analysed to identify potential impacts for different sectors in different parts of the country.

The climate projections in the report are broadly in line with previous research, which adds a measure of confidence to the projections. Moreover, the current report presents projections of additional
climate fields and derived variables that are of vital importance to sectors such as agriculture, health, energy, biodiversity and transport. It is envisaged that the research will inform policy and further the
understanding of the potential environmental impacts of climate change in Ireland at a local scale. This work will be used to feed into revisions of national policies, for example the next iteration of sectoral adaptation plans.

Adaptation research under the EPA Research Programme is also being progressed to fill knowledge gaps on adaptation on an ongoing basis under the following headings:
• Observations, monitoring and analysis
• Modelling of future climate
• Impacts, risk and vulnerability assessment
• Adaptation information and responses.

Documents related to all projects completed under the EPA Research Programme are available on the EPA website. The EPA led Climate Change Research Coordination Group acts to co-ordinate climate change related research in Ireland including adaptation. EPA are currently working on finalising a new EPA Research Programme to cover the period up until 2030.
The NAF and the sectoral plans produced under NAF and climate legislation form part of an iterative process and will be revised at a minimum every five years to reflect developments in scientific knowledge and to facilitate the modification and escalation of adaptation actions as necessary in line with National priorities, CCAC recommendations and Ireland’s EU and International obligations. The NAF must be reviewed before January 2023. Revised and/or new sectoral plans covering new sectors will follow after a e revised NAF is approved by Government and in line with statutory requirements including requirements in relation to public consultation..

The Government is currently working on a new Climate Action Plan which will include measures on adaptation which will complement existing action outlined in NAF and sectoral plans. This is scheduled to be published in 2021.

Ireland’s climate legislation the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 is currently being revised. The published Climate Action (Amendment) Bill introduces a system of 5-year economy-wide carbon budgets, which will outline a ceiling for total greenhouse gas emissions. These will be prepared by the Climate Change Advisory Council and presented to Government to consider and approve, with input from the Oireachtas.

The Bill largely maintains the provisions on adaptation in the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015, however, it include a number of provisions that will strengthen existing governance and oversight mechanisms with regard to adaptation. The Bill includes some key elements relevant to adaptation;
• Strengthens the role of the Climate Change Advisory Council
• Includes provisions to facilitate better cross sectoral cooperation on adaptation
• Introduces a requirement to annually revise the Climate Action Plan, which will include adaptation measures
• Introduces a requirement for all Local Authorities to prepare individual Climate Action Plans which will include both mitigation and adaptation measures
• Gives a stronger oversight role for the Oireachtas through an Oireachtas Committee
Ireland’s local adaptation strategies have been in place since 2019. Draft climate legislation introduces a requirement for all Local Authorities to prepare individual Climate Action Plans which will include both mitigation and adaptation measures.

Ireland’s Programme for Government recognises that all sectors including local government must play their part to achieve our climate goals in a fair way, and the important role of communities in achieving the climate actions required to meet our obligations.

A key part of Ireland’s review and updates to subnational adaptation plans, policies, strategies and measures will involve significant public engagement and consultation processes.
 The Government is currently drafting a new Climate Action Plan 2021 which will include additional measures on adaptation to complement existing action outlined in NAF and sectoral plans. This is scheduled to be published in 2021.

Currently the EPA are working with Yale University to undertake a nationally representative survey of the Irish population with a view to understanding values, beliefs, understandings and policy preferences. The outcomes of this work will be further used to target specific segments of the population for awareness raising, engagement and behavioural change campaigns.

In tandem with this, a new enduring structure is being developed for the National Dialogue on Climate Action which aims to increase awareness, engagement and will give all of society the opportunity to fully engage constructively in climate action

This new structure will harness existing networks, support better communications, and involve specific stakeholder groups. It will have a strong action focus, promoting and leveraging citizen, sectoral and regional involvement in delivering actions within their sphere of influence, including bringing about long-term behavioural change

As a first step in establishing this structure DECC is hosting a series of climate conversations which will feed into this new engagement model, and more importantly help support climate action at Local and Community level. This process harnesses existing networks such as public participation networks at local level, that are already working in the area of climate work programmes and outreach on climate awareness and engagement. The feedback received will feed into policies, measures and actions to be set out in the next iteration of the Climate Action Plan 2021.

Good practices and lessons learnt

In January 2018, the Irish Government established four Climate Action Regional Offices (CAROs). The four CAROs are: Atlantic Seaboard North, Atlantic Seaboard South, Dublin Metropolitan Region, and Eastern and Midlands. These are operated by a lead local authority in each region (Mayo County Council, Cork County Council, Dublin City Council, and Kildare County Council, respectively). The CAROs play an important role in ensuring that cross-sectoral issues are identified and addressed, and in community engagement. They also played a key role in coordinating the development of the local authority adaptation strategies, and ensuring their alignment with sectoral adaptation plans.
Ireland’s NAF recognises the importance of maximising synergies with other international frameworks particularly the Sustainable Development Goals and has ensured that Ireland’s national response on adaptation is coordinated with its response on the SDGs.

The SDGs cut across a range of pressing environmental challenges. SDG 13: Climate Action. SDG 13 has the following targets relevant to the National Adaptation Framework:
• Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
• Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
• Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.

In Ireland, each of the 169 SDG targets has been assigned to a lead Government Department. The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) has responsibility for leading implementation of SDG 13 ‘Climate Action’. In addition to leading on climate policy, DECC also has responsibility for promoting the SDGs, and for overseeing their coherent implementation across Government.

The first National Implementation Plan (2018-2020), published in 2018, set out Ireland’s strategy to achieve the SDGs both domestically and internationally. The Goals are mainstreamed in domestic policy and the governance structure reflects a whole-of-government approach and ensures coordination and coherence, in particular where Goals cover areas of shared responsibility.

An important element of the first Plan is the SDG Policy Map and Matrix, which identified lead and stakeholder Departments for each of the Goals and targets and also mapped national sectoral policies to identify which policies were most relevant to which SDGs and their associated targets.

The SDG Policy Map and Matrix, available online, enhances the ability of stakeholders to track Ireland’s implementation of specific SDGs and associated targets, and to assess Ireland’s response to the SDGs for potential policy gaps. It also supported and enhanced cross-Government engagement in implementing each of the Goals and Targets.

Government Departments have committed to achieving a wide-range of targets under these Goals, including those which focus on climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.

DECC has also been identified as a stakeholder for Goals 6 and 14, highlighting the cross-cutting nature of the SDGs and the guidance DECC provides in its adaptation responsibilities.
In 2018, the BIC Member Administrations agreed terms of reference for a subgroup meeting several times a year on climate adaptation, chaired by the Government of Ireland. To develop improved collaboration and encourage information sharing on climate adaptation across the BIC region, the Government of Ireland hosted an online symposium for sharing experiences and best practice on climate resilient critical infrastructure on 20 October 2020. Representatives from all BIC Member Administrations, Government Agencies, infrastructure providers, and a number of adaptation experts from across the BIC region attended.

At COP25, DECC participated in a side event on adaptation leadership, policy and local and regional adaptation in collaboration with the Scottish Government.

Met Éireann is continuing to work on global ensemble climate simulations using the EC-Earth model for various emission scenarios as well as downscaling the output for the Irish region. The results from this research will contribute to the next IPCC AR6 report and also feed into the different national and EU climate services projects. Met Éireann, as Ireland’s representative for EUMETSAT and ECMWF and with expertise in the areas on satellite Earth Observation and in situ (non-space) data, has a pivotal role in improving coordination, communication and policy linkage with the Copernicus programme and the UN’s World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). It is through their interactions with global organisations such as the WMO and the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), and European communities such as EUMETNET and others that enables Met Éireann support climate adaptation and home and abroad. Met Éireann’s national TRANSLATE project for example feeds from best international practice and aims to standardise official national climate projections while also developing climate services infrastructure to support adaptation decision making. This helps to establish coordination and build critical knowledge within climate sensitive sectors including academia.

Ireland is also a member of the OECD’s Task Force on climate change adaptation. This time-limited Task Force provides countries with an opportunity for focused discussion and knowledge exchange on national policies on climate change adaptation and ways to accelerate implementation actions
 ‘Transboundary Adaptation Learning Exchange’ (TalX) is a collaborative project across Northern Ireland, Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales, funded under the EPA Research Programme and led by University College Cork. TalX aims to establish an innovative learning network to enable a cohesive approach for measuring and acting on climate change adaptation across boundaries.

CHERISH (Climate, Heritage and Environments of Reefs, Islands, and Headlands) is a six-year collaboration between the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, the Discovery Programme, Innovation Ireland, Aberystwyth University, and Geological Survey Ireland. The project is receiving €5.1 million through the Ireland-Wales 2014-2020 Programme. The aim of the project is to raise awareness and understanding of the past, present and near-future impacts of climate change, storminess, and extreme weather events on the cultural heritage of the Irish and Welsh regional seas and coast, by employing innovative techniques to study some of the most iconic coastal locations in Ireland and Wales.
Climate action has been identified as a major policy priority of "A Better World", Ireland’s international development policy published in February 2019. The policy includes a commitment to ‘climate-proof’ all of Ireland’s development assistance, meaning that climate change will be taken into consideration in all decision-making.

Ireland’s international climate support explicitly focuses on the needs of those least responsible for causing climate change, and with most to lose, namely Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). At the heart of Ireland’s climate action is a commitment to climate justice, especially gender, and a focus on those furthest behind. Ireland provides significant support to the LDC negotiating bloc and supports the consideration of gender equality in climate action. The vast majority of Ireland’s climate finance is for adaptation. It is nearly all grant based.

Ireland is an active member of the Least Developed Country Expert Group of the UNFCCC, one of only 3 developed countries, and the work of the UNFCCC Secretariat in guiding the development of National Adaptation Plans.

Ireland has been a strong proponent of adaptation action at International level and has signed up to "A Call for Action: Raising Ambition for Climate Adaptation and Resilience", which was launched at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019, under the leadership of the UK and Egypt. The Call aims to give equal and increased urgency to adapt to climate impacts and build resilience for the future. The UK and Egypt aim to build on the Call and deliver tangible progress towards COP26, which the UK Government is hosting.

Ireland also endorsed the new Principles for Locally Led Action at the recent Adaptation Summit in the Netherlands, held in January 2021 and is committed to the LDC Initiative for Effective Adaptation and Resilience (LIFE-AR) to which we provide financial support. Currently just 10% of climate finance reaches community level. LIFE-AR aims to increase this to 70% by 2030.

At EU level the Germany-Ireland Joint Plan of Action, drawn up by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs in both countries, includes a project on ‘Enhanced cooperation on energy and climate action. Implementation of the project has unfortunately been impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic.

Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications

Aarhus, Climate Adaptation and Citizen Engagement
The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment leads and coordinates national adaptation policy
Justina.Corcoran@decc.gov.ie
National focal point

Relevant websites and social media source

[Disclaimer]
The information presented in these pages is based on the reporting according to 'Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action' and updates by the EEA member countries. However, for those pages where the information is last updated before 01/01/2021, the information presented is based on the reporting according to 'Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 on a mechanism for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions and for reporting other information relevant to climate change' and updates by the EEA member countries.'