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Information on national adaptation actions reported under the Governance Regulation

Reporting updated until: 2023-03-09

Item Status Links
Climate Law (including adaptation)
  • actual adaptation policy (adopted)
  • actual adaptation policy (adopted)
National Adaptation Strategy (NAS)
  • actual adaptation policy (adopted)
Sectoral Adaptation Plan (SAP)
  • actual adaptation policy (adopted)
Other (specify below)
  • actual adaptation policy (adopted)
Meteorological observations
  • Established
Climate projections and services
  • Being developed
  • Being developed
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
Note:Text for tabs General Information, National Circumstances, Observed and Future Climate Hazards and Key affected sectors is taken from a report Contribution to Fulfil National Reporting Obligations on ‘National Climate Change Adaptation Planning and Strategies’ under the Legal Instrument ‘Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action’ which was prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency with support from academics working on Climate Ireland based in MaREI/UCC specifically for this reporting obligation to align with the required reporting template.

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 the lowest 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, in line with global trends.

The highest rainfall occurs in the Western half of the country and on high ground, while rainfall decreases in the Northeast. The average annual rainfall is approximately 1230 mm but totals of over 3000 mm may occur on high ground. The driest seasons are Spring and Summer, with an average of approximately 260 mm rainfall, 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 also 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 changes are consistent with regional and global trends, and these changes are projected to continue and increase over the coming decades.
Ireland’s most recent Census (2022) shows that Ireland’s population stands at 5,123,536. That is an increase of 361,671 (7.6%) since 2016. It is also the highest population recorded in a census since 1841. Ireland’s population has been steadily growing since the 1990s and has increased by 45% since 1990. The population growth recorded by the 2022 Census was brought about by natural population increases, offset by small net migration. The average age of Ireland’s population 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 a substantial increase in persons aged 65 years and over by 2051. This represents an increase of 13% of the population aged 65 years and older from 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 72 persons per square kilometre in 2016, 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 December 2022, Ireland published its most recent Climate Action Plan which provides a detailed plan for taking decisive action to achieve a 51% reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. This plan will set Ireland on a path to reach net-zero emissions by no later than 2050, as committed to in the Programme for Government and set out in the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021. The Plan lists the actions needed to deliver on climate targets and sets indicative ranges of emissions reductions for each sector of the economy. A Climate Action Plan will be produced annually to continue to support this work (DECC, 2022).
 

Ireland has published a new National Development Plan and National Planning Framework. Collectively these will provide a strategic planning and development framework for Ireland and all its regions for the period between now and 2040.These documents play a key role in setting a high-level strategy for the co-ordination of a range of national, regional and local policies and activities, planning and investment, and in directing climate change mitigation and adaptation actions for delivery through both the public and private sectors.

The National Planning Framework will seek to support national targets for emissions reduction and objectives for climate change mitigation and adaptation 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.
Ireland’s major cities (Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick) are all at the coast and situated on 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 due to 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 from the nearest coastline.

With fertile soils and a temperate climate, Ireland has high potential for farming and food production. Agriculture is dominated by grass-based (dairy and beef) agriculture with ambitious plans to increase sustainable food systems (e.g. the Food Vision 2030 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 carbon dioxide abatement over the period from 2021-2030. Ireland’s ocean economy contributed to 1.6% of GDP in 2021. Ireland’s vision for the ocean economy is provided through ‘Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth – an Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland’ which aims to double the value of Ireland’s ocean wealth to 2.4% of GDP by 2030 (relative to 2007).
To ensure that the latest climate information informs adaptation, several organisations and initiatives in Ireland are devoted to monitoring the climate to understand how it is changing and how it may change in the future.

Met Éireann (MÉ) is Ireland's leading provider of weather and climate information and related services and maintains the national network for atmospheric and terrestrial observations. In collaboration with the Irish Marine Institute (IMI), it also maintains the operational Irish Marine Buoy Network, which provides observations on sea state/temperature and surface weather.

Several other organisations carry out measurements of land-based and hydrological variables, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which oversees land-cover mapping and maintains the national hydrometric register, coordinating hydrological measurements such as river flow and level, groundwater and lake levels, and the Office of Public Works (OPW), which has an extensive river flow and level monitoring network. The EPA’s HydroNet portal contains links to all stations included in the national hydrometric register (https://epawebapp.epa.ie/hydronet/) The OPWs 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, for support planning, emergency response planning and to empower people and communities to plan and respond to flood risk. Ireland’s Universities also play a role in climate observations through nationally and internationally funded research projects.

Climate modelling is a core activity in MÉ and 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 and Flanagan (2020) to analyse the impacts of global climate change on the mid-21st century climate of Ireland. The climate projections identified:
• Mid-century mean annual temperatures are projected to increase by 1–1.2°C and 1.3–1.6°C for the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios, respectively.
• Heatwave events are expected to increase by the middle of the century; over the 20-year period (2041–2060), increases in heatwave events range from 1 to 8 for the RCP4.5 scenario and from 3 to 15 for the RCP8.5 scenario
• The number of frost days is projected to decrease by 45% and 58% for the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios, respectively.
• The number of ice days is projected to decrease by 68% and 78% for the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios, respectively.
• Substantial decreases in precipitation are projected for the summer months, with reductions ranging from ˜0% to 11% for the RCP4.5 scenario and from 2% to 17% for the RCP8.5 scenario.
• The number of extended dry periods is projected to increase substantially by the middle of the century over the entire year and for all seasons, except spring.
• Snowfall is projected to decrease substantially by the middle of the century with “likely” reductions of 51% and 60% for the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios, respectively.
• Mid-century mean 10-m wind speeds are projected to decrease for all seasons.

To further develop the climate projections for Ireland, the TRANSLATE project was initiated by MÉ to standardise future climate projections for Ireland and develop climate services that meet the adaptation sector’s needs. Climate Services provide climate information to help individuals and organizations make climate smart decisions. Climate services are provided by a range of organisations and institutions around the world, from research institutes to universities to charities and private companies. In order to streamline the provision of climate services in Ireland, the Government of recently approved the creation of the Irish Ireland’s National Framework for Climate Services (NFCS), which is being coordinated by Met Éireann. A range of experts from across Irish sectors will be involved in shaping the NFCS, ensuring the data and information that’s available will be as accurate and relevant as possible.

GCOS-Ireland was established by Met Éireann in 2018 and works to ensure the sustained provision of reliable physical, chemical and biological observations and data records for the total climate system – across the atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial domains, including hydrological and carbon cycles, for Ireland. The Status of Ireland’s Climate report has been updated based on the GCOS-Ireland observations (Dwyer, 2008, 2012; Camaro and Dwyer, 2021).

The Integrated Carbon Observation System, ICOS, is a European-wide greenhouse gas research infrastructure which Ireland joined in 2022. ICOS produces standardised data on greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, as well as on carbon fluxes between the atmosphere, the earth and oceans.

The EPA is responsible for 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 action plan 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. An online training tool has been provided to local authorities which has been completed by 80% of indoor staff.

In addition to the science of climate change, it is essential to monitor the implementation of climate action. Currently, the main bodies responsible for monitoring the progress of climate adaptation implemented in Ireland are the Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC), D/ECC, EPA, and OPW. The CCAC produce an Annual Report assessing the progress made towards Ireland’s Just Transition to a biodiversity-rich, environmentally sustainable, climate-neutral and resilient society. The CCAC have identified that there is not currently a standardised approach to monitoring adaptation; as a result, the current status of Ireland’s adaptation action is challenging to determine.
The EPA Climate Research Coordination Group (CRCG) acts to co-ordinate climate change related research in Ireland, including adaptation. The last report presents a summary of investments, of progress on strategic goals and related developments during 2021, and of the CRCG’s activities over that period. It also covers competitive research funding committed by members of the CRCG, leveraged funding from EU schemes and core research activities carried out by CRCG members themselves over the period from the 1st January to 31st December 2021. The EPA 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.The 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; To further support decision-making for adaptation, the EPA, with partner agencies, has commenced 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 and linked EU and global analysis. It will also provide summary information which can inform decision making and further research on the vulnerability of key sectors and the identification of critical thresholds. 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 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;
• Policy Coherence in Adaptation Studies: Selecting and Using Indicators of Climate Resilience (Flood, Dwyer, and Gault, 2021) combines an analysis of international best practices and approaches to the development of climate adaptation indicators, co-designed by key stakeholder representatives from relevant state agencies and regional and national government, to identify a tailored suite of Ireland-relevant climate adaptation indicators.
• Climate Change Adaptation: Risks and Opportunities for Irish Businesses (Deignan et al. 2022) identified material climate risks (pressures) for Ireland’s private sector. By raising awareness of climate risks and opportunities, this research can help the private sector identify and develop solutions to address the environmental and economic challenges that they face and also inform the development of solutions to develop business-level (rather than sector-level) resilience and adaptation plans.
• Built Environment Climate Resilience and Adaptation (Scott et al. 2022) developed a series of recommendations to advance the adaptation of the built environment in Ireland's climate change context, offering a suite of research-based principles to inform policymaking and design, explore alternative policy instruments and identify areas for further research.
• Enhancing Integration of Disaster Risk and Climate Change Adaptation into Irish Emergency Planning research (Medway, Cubie, and Le Tissier, 2022) identifies how existing approaches to disaster risk reduction, disaster risk management (DRM) and Climate Change Adaptation in Ireland are juxtaposed and concludes that identifying ways to promote coordination and align incentives, priorities and planning processes will facilitate a more holistic and comprehensive approach to DRM at all levels of government.
• Connecting People to Climate Change Action: Informing Participatory Frameworks for the National Dialogue on Climate Action (C-CHANGE) (Nyhan, O'Dwyer, and Columbié, 2022) is focused on developing solutions and guides facilitating stakeholders’ and citizens’ participation in environmental and climate dialogues and thus in climate action nationally and internationally.
• The TRANSLATE project results will be completed in 2023, and will offer standardised climate projections for Ireland as well as developing climate services (NFCS) that meet the adaptation sector’s needs.

• The Ireland/Wales EU programme (i.e. INTERREG) is also very active under its priority 2 with regards to "Adaptation of the Irish Sea and Coastal Communities to Climate Change", and has six projects of relevance currently listed:
o Ecostructure
o Bluefish
o Acclimatize
o Cherish
o CCAT
o ECHOES
• JPI Climate projects, with Irish involvement, 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 seasonal climate prediction and ecosystem impact modelling for efficient adaptation of water resources management to increasing climate extremes).

A new NAF is to be developed in 2023, with a Review of the NAF being completed in 2022. The NAF update will consider the climate and policy developments since 2018 and further provide the foundation for adaptation within local authorities and sectoral contexts.

In 2023, the Local Authority Climate Action Plans will begin development, with Local Authorities assessing their climate risks and emissions and developing both mitigation and adaptation actions to be accomplished over the next five years. These plans will be the second iteration of adaptation action development at local government level, building upon the Local Authority Adaptation Strategies published in 2019.
The assessment of climate impacts and vulnerability has been undertaken based on the most up-to-date assessments of climate change for Ireland (Nolan, 2020; Desmond et al. 2017). Sectoral adaptation plans have been developed in response to the requirements of Ireland’s National Adaptation Framework. These plans were published in 2019. The plans provide a semi-quantitative assessment of observed and projected climate change impacts for each sector.

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 soft sediment. These areas are most common on Ireland's eastern and southern coasts, and also in isolated areas, of sedimentary bays, on western and northern coasts (e.g. the Shannon estuary, Donegal, Clew, Tralee and Dingle Bays).

Ireland’s agricultural sector is based on grass-based agriculture. As a result of extreme weather events fodder crises can occur in Ireland, with significant crises experienced in 1998/1999, 2012/2013 and 2018.

In April 2019, the NPWS submitted the 3rd Article 17 report 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 decline based on a 12-year short-term trend period.

The most recent report on water quality in Ireland produced by the EPA (2022) shows that 50% of Ireland’s rivers are of satisfactory quality, while 50% are unsatisfactory. For lakes, 69% are considered to be of high quality and for ground waters, 8% have unsatisfactory phosphate concentrations.

Drinking water in Ireland is considered of high quality. The CSO measure the quality of public water supplies through levels of compliance with THM and E.Coli standards. In 2020, 99.9% and 97.3.% of public water supplies were in compliance. Due to old and damaged pipes, Ireland’s public water supply system had a leakage rate of 42% nationally in 2018.
Hazard type Acute/Chronic Observed climate hazards
WaterAcuteDrought
Flood
Heavy precipitation
ChronicSea level rise
Solid massAcuteLandslide
ChronicCoastal_erosion
TemperatureAcuteCold wave frost
Heat wave
ChronicChanging temperature
WindAcuteCyclone
Storm
Chronic
Hazard type Acute/Chronic Future climate hazards Qualitative trend
WaterAcuteDroughtsignificantly increasing
Floodsignificantly increasing
Heavy precipitationsignificantly increasing
ChronicChanging precipitation patterns and typessignificantly increasing
Ocean acidificationsignificantly increasing
Precipitation hydrological variabilitysignificantly increasing
Saline intrusionevolution uncertain or unknown
Sea level risesignificantly increasing
Water scarcitysignificantly increasing
Solid massAcuteLandslide Futuresignificantly increasing
Subsidence Futureevolution uncertain or unknown
ChronicCoastal erosionsignificantly increasing
Soil erosionsignificantly increasing
Sol degradationevolution uncertain or unknown
TemperatureAcuteCold wave frostsignificantly decreasing
Heat wavesignificantly increasing
Wildfiresignificantly increasing
ChronicChanging temperaturesignificantly increasing
Temperature variabilitysignificantly increasing
WindAcuteCycloneevolution uncertain or unknown
Stormevolution uncertain or unknown
ChronicChanging wind patternssignificantly increasing
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 (2022) shows that 50% of Ireland’s rivers are of satisfactory quality, while 50% are unsatisfactory. For lakes, 69% are considered to be of high quality and for ground waters, 8% have unsatisfactory phosphate concentrations with the greatest proportion of elevated nitrate concentrations seen in the south and southeast of the country. Estuarine and coastal waters show increasing inputs of nitrate and phosphates for 2021 when compared with the period 2012-2014, with an increase of 20% and 37% 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: 2021, the quality of public water supplies is consistently high across microbiological, chemical and indicator standards achieving 99.96%, 99.6% and 99.29% 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

Key affected sector(s)water management
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudenot applicable
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentWindstorms (e.g. Storm Ophelia 2017) resulting in power outages at water treatment plants, wastewater plants and pumping stations and delay repairs. Heatwave and drought events (e.g. summer of 2018 and 2022) result in reduced water flows, affecting the assimilative capacity of rivers and lakes, and depleted water levels in reservoirs and groundwater. High temperatures also increase demand on water resources requiring national water conservation measures Extreme precipitation events have resulted in flooding water services infrastructure and had adverse impacts on water quality due to increased runoff and an associated increase in pollutant loading from agricultural and industrial sources. High flows have put excess pressure on water pumps. Elevated levels of bacteria in bathing waters following extreme precipitation events have resulted in the issuing of bathing water prohibitions. Cold waves and freezing temperatures (e.g. Storm Emma 2018) results in burst or leaking water mains and increased water usage possibly be due to domestic taps left running. Contamination of raw water occurred due to burst pipes and freezing temperatures led to operational issues at water treatment plants; compromised disinfection systems, freezing valves affecting treatment processes and freezing pumps affecting collection and distribution. Access to water infrastructure has been restricted, particularly in remote areas. Many groundwater sources require generators to pump water and treat supplies.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatenot applicable
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitynot applicable
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentIreland’s water supply may be vulnerable to climate change impacts as the infrastructure currently in place would not be able to meet the long-term balance of water supply and demand under some climate scenarios. Some natural water bodies and catchments are already rated 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 can potentially reduce Ireland’s water supply further if ongoing remediation efforts are unsuccessful.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsnot applicable
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentThe 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.
Key affected sector(s)transport
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudenot applicable
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentExtreme precipitation events caused fluvial and pluvial flooding of transport infrastructure, rendering key transport routes inaccessible and disrupting journeys for public transport, private and commercial vehicles. They have also caused disintegration of road, pavement and cycle lane surfaces, increases in bridge scour events and heightened landslide risk as slopes become saturated, blocking or damaging travel infrastructure. Flooding and erosion are impacting on transport infrastructure in Ireland’s coastal areas, in particular Ireland’s eastern rail corridor (Dublin to Rosslare Europort) is subject to coastal erosion and is 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 disrupted roads and 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.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatenot applicable
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitynot applicable
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentTransport hubs and trains, trams and buses with poor ventilation or no active cooling will be particularly vulnerable to the impacts 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.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsnot applicable
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentFor 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.
Key affected sector(s)health
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudenot applicable
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentFlooding 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. 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. The island of Ireland has the highest levels of excess winter deaths in Europe with up to 2,800 excess deaths every winter
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatenot applicable
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitynot applicable
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent key hazards
AssessmentProjections 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 1,300 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.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsnot applicable
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentFor the health sector, a number of priority climate risks have been identified: • 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.
Key affected sector(s)buildings; other
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudenot applicable
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentErosion is already having significant impacts for built and archaeological heritage 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 the closure of heritage sites.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatenot applicable
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitynot applicable
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentCultural 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.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsnot applicable
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentFor built and archaeological heritage, a number of priority impacts have been identified: • 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.
Key affected sector(s)energy
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudenot applicable
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentWindstorms 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.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatenot applicable
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitynot applicable
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent key hazards
AssessmentThe 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.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsnot applicable
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentFor the Electricity and Gas Networks sector, a number of priority risks have been identified: • 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).
Key affected sector(s)ICT (information and communications technology)
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudenot applicable
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentWindstorms 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.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatenot applicable
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitynot applicable
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentOverhead 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.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsnot applicable
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Assessment• 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.
Key affected sector(s)biodiversity (including ecosystembased approaches); other
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudenot applicable
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentIncreasing average temperatures are having a detectable impact on the key phenological phases and geographical distribution of Irish flora and fauna. Increasing spring temperatures impact on the timing of key life-cycle events in a range of plant species, timing of migrant bird species and the emergence of moth species. They also affect the distribution of bird species with a strong north-eastward shifts in the wintering range of bird species. Changes in sea surface temperature along with other climate-induced changes in oceanic conditions and human impacts (e.g. pollution, habitat loss and over exploitation) also affect the distribution of fish species. The three main species of migratory fish (salmon, sea trout and eels) have all shown declines in number and survival over the past three decades. Heatwaves have resulted in vegetation stress and 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. Heatwaves and droughts have resulted in the increased frequency of wildfires with damages to habitats. Extreme cold spells have resulted in detrimental effects for wintering wildfowl and birds. Extreme cold spells have resulted in detrimental impacts on food sources. Windstorms have resulted in drying out of sporophyte populations and storms have resulted in flooding and erosion of coastal habitats (e.g. machair and dunes).
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatenot applicable
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitynot applicable
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentHabitats 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.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsnot applicable
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentFor the biodiversity sector, a number of priority risks have been identified: • 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).
Key affected sector(s)agriculture and food
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudenot applicable
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentFor 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 farmers.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatenot applicable
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitynot applicable
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentSome 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.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsnot applicable
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentFor 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.
Key affected sector(s)forestry
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudenot applicable
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentWindstorms 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.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatenot applicable
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitynot applicable
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent key hazards
AssessmentClimate change will result in more favourable climatic conditions for forest pests and disease to thrive, leading to some forest species being susceptible to harm.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsnot applicable
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentFor 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.
Key affected sector(s)marine and fisheries
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudenot applicable
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentClimate 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.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatenot applicable
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitynot applicable
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent key hazards
AssessmentEnvironmental 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.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsnot applicable
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentFor the seafood sector, a number of priority risks have been identified: • 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.
Key affected sector(s)buildings; civil protection and emergency management; coastal areas; land use planning; other
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudenot applicable
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentNationally, fluvial and coastal flooding are most significant while in the west of Ireland groundwater flooding is also a significant source of flooding. Flooding in Ireland has a wide range of impacts including on property, infrastructure, disruption of transport and services and in some cases human fatalities. The Office of Public Works (OPW) leads on flood risk management in Ireland. Through the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Programme (CFRAM) for 300 communities around the country, including cities, towns, including 90 coastal communities, 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). To manage the impacts of flooding, the OPW developed guidelines under Ireland’s Planning Act which adopt a precautionary approach to future flood risk and provide a clear framework to assist planners ion flood issues locally. Between 1995 and 2018, the OPW completed 43 major flood relief schemes b 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. The OPW has also implemented various arterial drainage schemes which protects 260,000 hectares of agricultural land.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatenot applicable
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitynot applicable
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent key hazards
AssessmentThe inclusion of climate change adaptation measures in the design and construction of flood relief schemes is relatively new. Therefore, the standard of protection offered by some 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.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsnot applicable
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentPriority risks have been identified for the flood risk management sector including: • Projected changes in the frequency and intensity of flooding may mean that existing flood relief schemes level of protection is reduced requiring assessment of adaptation actions • 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: • Adaptation should be incorporated into the design and implementation of minor works to deal with changes in precipitation • An assessment of green infrastructure as an adaptation option and in reducing flood flows is needed to address projected increases in flood risk • 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.

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the national level

Vulnerability and risk analysis are required in sectoral plans as set out in Sectoral Guidelines for Climate Change Adaptation. These Guidelines will be reviewed in 2023.

The EPA is leading the development the first 5-Year Assessment Report (5-YAR) on Climate Research. The 5-YAR will provide an assessment of our understanding of climate change based on scientific research and systematic observations in Ireland. Ireland has committed to the development of a standalone Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) by 2025.

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.

The 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.
Ireland’s first statutory NAF Act was approved by Government on 19 December 2017 and published on 19 January 2018.

The NAF sets out the national strategy to ensure local authorities and key sectors can assess the key risks and vulnerabilities of climate change, implement climate resilience actions and ensure climate adaptation is mainstreamed into all local, regional and national policy making. The NAF also supports local and regional adaptation action. Local Adaptation Strategies(LASs) were completed by all 31 local authorities in Ireland by October 2019. The NAF was reviewed in 2022 and a new NAF is now being developed.

The requirement to prepare LASs has effectively been superseded with a new statutory requirement for all local authorities to prepare Local Authority Climate Action Plans (LACAPs) every five years These plans are currently under development.

Under the National Adaptation Framework, 7 Government Departments with responsibility for priority sectors developed Sectoral Adaptation Plans (SAPs) in 2018 and 2019 in line with the requirements of the Climate Act.

Each SAP 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 (National) Sectoral Planning Guidelines for Climate Change Adaptation.

The National Adaptation Steering Committee chaired by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) provides coherence in adaptation planning. It includes representatives from all government Departments leading on the development of SAPs and representatives from other key Agencies.

The most recent Climate Action Plan 2023 (CAP 23), published in December 2022, sets out actions across every sector of society to ensure Ireland will meet its 2030 climate commitments. Chapter 22 of CAP 23 also addresses climate adaptation, primarily in the context of the ongoing implementation of the NAF. The plan includes actions to be completed in 2023 to build resilience across Government Departments and Agencies. Implementation of the CAP is overseen by the Climate Action Delivery Board chaired by the Department of the Taoiseach.

The Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC) was established in 2016 under the Climate Act. The Council, which is independent in the performance of its functions, provides advice and recommendations including, to the DECC Minister in relation to the preparation of the NAF; the development by a relevant minister of a SAP; and the approval by the Government of a NAF. Sectors are required to consult with DECC when developing SAPs. The CCAC also undertakes an annual scorecard by means of a detailed questionnaire to relevant Government Departments covering implementation of the NAF, implementation of sectoral actions and implementation of adaptation at local level. The results of the scorecard are published in the CCAC Annual Review
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 2019 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.

In Ireland, SEA has been carried out for both spatial and non-spatial plans and programmes, and at different levels in the planning hierarchy. These plans and programmes range from detailed small-scale local area plans to broad-based national-level strategies.
“In the case of climate-specific plans, such as climate adaptation strategies, plan-makers should ensure that these are prepared in accordance with the relevant departmental guidelines and any updates of these guidelines that may subsequently arise, including:
• Local Authority Adaptation Strategy Development Guidelines (DCCAE, 2018)
• Sectoral Planning Guidelines for Climate Change Adaptation (DCCAE, 2018)

Plan-makers are also advised to use available SEA process guidance and resources available on the EPA and DHPLG websites.
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(CI) 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 of sources to assist adaptation planning. CI 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 and local adaptation policies.

CI is managed by EPA with support from a research team in MaREI/Univerity College Cork . CI also forms an important part of Met Eireann's National Framework for Climate Services.
Under the NAF and Climate Act in 2019, Government Departments with responsibility for priority sectors developed Sectoral Adaptation Plans .

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

The NAF Review undertaken in 2022 identifies additional sectors where SAPs may be appropriate. All 31 Local Authorities prepared local adaptation strategies by 2019.
The 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 sixth Annual Review in 2022. This includes a chapter on adaptation and outlines the challenges, gaps and barriers to adaptation policy in Ireland. The Annual Review also includes the results of the CCAC adaptation scorecard which provided an assessment of progress made in implementing adaptation policy across all NAF sectors, the NAF itself and at local level. The scorecard while identifying progress in a number of key areas including flood risk and local government also clearly identifies challenges and implementation gaps in other sectors and recommendations to improve adaptation responses.

The 2022 NAF review identified three potential additional sectors that could be considered for the development of Sectoral Adaptation Strategies. These are: Finance, Tourism and Planning & Built Environment. The development process of the new NAF in 2023 will consider the pros and cons of developing SAPs for these areas, existing policy frameworks and plans and depending on the outcome of that process, a decision will be made by Government when the new NAF is considered on whether the additional SAPs for these areas are required.
The NAF has 12 strategic actions to ensure a robust and flexible adaptation planning process for Ireland. These focus on development of SAPs, actions to improve governance structures, development of adaptation guidelines, establishing coordinating structures for adaptation at local level, establishing Climate Ireland on a full-time basis, public engagement actions and actions to promote mainstreaming across Government.

The implementation of the NAF is supported by 14 objectives:
• Examine potential legislative changes to the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 to enhance implementation, e.g. underpinning the making and adopting of a local or regional adaptation strategy and providing for the making and adoption of a local or regional adaptation strategy as a reserved function.
• The CCAC‘s consideration of adaptation/resilience as part of Annual Reviews and Periodic Reviews and increased liaison between sectors, local government, and CCAC’s Adaptation subcommittee in terms of progressing the adaptation/resilience agenda.
• Ongoing development of Ireland’s first dedicated national climate change risk assessment and assessing the vulnerability of critical infrastructure.
• The development of appropriate national, sectoral and local level climate change adaptation indicators.
• Met Éireann research through targeted actions such as (i) localised climate simulations (ii) identification of extreme weather events and of their nature and (iii) quantification of simulations’ uncertainty, and also measures to improve the effectiveness and resilience of monitoring and forecasting of extreme weather events.
• Ensure that national adaptation research priorities support adaptation planning at sectoral and local level through ongoing reporting by the National Climate Research Coordination Group.
• 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.
• Effective collaboration through the sectoral adaptation planning process to ensure inter-dependencies are addressed across sectors on cross-cutting issues.
• Further analysis of the implications from an enterprise perspective of climate change and adaptation/resilience for the private sector should be considered with a view to building on the work carried out to inform the 2010 Forfás Report “Adaptation to Climate Change: Issues for Business”.
• Support partners in the developing world and collaborate where possible in developing new partnerships to contribute to the goal of achieving global climate resilience in line with our national and international obligations.
• National reporting through the presentation of annual sectoral adaptation statements and annual transition statements to the Oireachtas by relevant Ministers to enable the achievement of the National Transition Objective. Continue to avail of opportunities to collaborate with other jurisdictions to tackle common challenges on adaptation and resilience and to consider transboundary impacts and synergies when they arise.
• International reporting obligations including periodic communications under the Paris Agreement and National Communications to UN; reporting to the European Commission on national adaptation planning under the Mechanism for Monitoring and the preparedness scoreboard on EU member states’ level of readiness for climate change impacts and adaptation.

A number of these objectives have been achieved from the 2021 revisions to the Climate Act. A new NAF is currently under development which will include actions and objectives to reflect updates in national, EU and international policy since 2018.

Ireland’s most recent Climate Action Plan (CAP 23) was published in December 2023 including a chapter (Chapter 22) on adaptation. This chapter contains 20 actions to be undertaken in 2023and they are categorised under the following priority areas:
• Update National policy and NAF in line NAF review and legislation
• Climate resilience in flood risk management policies
• Climate resilience of coasts
• Climate data and availability and climate services
• Develop early warning systems
• Climate resilience of infrastructure(water, comms, electricity and gas networks)
• Climate resilience in health
• Improve awareness of need to adapt

Oversight of the annual Climate Action Plans is provided the Climate Action Implementation Board chaired by the Department of An Taoiseach (Prime Minister). Previous iterations of Climate Action Plans and progress reports are available online.

SAPs set objectives and actions to be undertaken within and in conjunction with other sectors to improve climate resilience in their sectors. All SAPs are published online on a single webpage hosted by the Irish Government. The 7 published plans cover 12 priority sectors.
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 SAPs are a key policy instrument for the effective mainstreaming of climate adaptation across key sectors. Local adaptation strategies and forthcoming Local Authority Climate Action Plans (LACAPs) are relevant similar policy instruments at local level.

A critical undertaking for relevant Government Departments in Ireland is to take a leadership role in implementing the NAF by mandating and supporting adaptation planning and implementation of actions within their Departments and Agencies in line with the requirements of the Climate Act and the NAF. Departments are required in the 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). Mainstreaming of adaptation action into general policy areas including health, water, and energy was a clear focus in in CAP 23 adaptation actions.

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 (currently under review). 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 (see table 1 for update from DHLGH). 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 National Dialogue on Climate Action (NDCA) is the national program to engage, enable and empower stakeholders and the citizens across society to co-create solutions to climate action. In 2021, as part of the NDCA, the Department of Environment Climate and Communications held a series of climate conversations capturing the views of 3,800 members of the public, Public Participation Networks and young people articulating the voice of a public who are responsive to climate change and feel a sense of urgency in addressing the challenges which now face us. Participants were asked for ‘joined up thinking’ and ‘ambitious policies’ being reflected ‘where they live’ and ‘enhancing the capacity of Local Authorities and the community sector’. This included a mandatory set of questions on climate impacts and adaptation measures. Under the 2022 NDCA programme, a number of significant number of outputs were delivered:
• The Climate Conversations 2022 (CC22), 400+ stakeholders, 4,300 members of the public, young people, populations vulnerable to the transition to carbon neutrality, and local and community organisations.
• Three National Climate Stakeholder Forum (NCSF) events which took the form of deliberative workshops inviting over 300 stakeholders, policy leads and politicians from a wide range of organisations to discuss challenges and cocreate solutions to delivering climate actions.
• The first National Youth Assembly on Climate (NYAC) which engaged over 40 young people between the ages of 12 and 24 to capture the views and suggestions on how we deliver climate actions from the young people in Ireland.
• The EPA Climate Change in the Irish Mind (CCIM) study which provided a nationally representative data on the attitudes and behaviours to climate change of 4,000 members of the Irish public.
• The National Social and Behavioural Advisory Group which includes social and behavioural scientists and was established to provide ongoing insight into research findings and help inform policy.

The Climate Conversations assisted in identifying areas where people are already making changes and where individuals and communities feel they lack information, knowledge and resources, or the capacity to pursue these changes. These insights provide a robust evidence base, a voice for the people, and constitute public participation in the Climate Action Plan. Further, they assist in designing policies and strategies that are informed by people, and take their challenge and concerns into account, and make their implementation easier. The NDCA will have a strong focus on action in 2023 leveraging public, sectoral and regional involvement in delivering actions within their sphere of influence and enabling long-term behavioural change.

DECC is also supporting the 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. 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 is being funded by central Government covering 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 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.

Ireland is hosting the European Climate Change Adaptation Conference (ECCA2023) in Dublin in June 2023. The Joint Programme Initiative "Connecting Climate Knowledge for Europe" (JPI Climate), together with the MAGICA project, supported by the European Commission, is organizing this edition of ECCA. It will be an in-person event over two days for up to 500 people with live streaming of all plenary sessions and interactive hybrid formats. The programme will be organized around 6 key themes, listed below
1. Stepping Up Climate Action: Support Through Climate Platforms and Services
2. Adaptation Responses to Sea Level Rise and Coastal Change
3. Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation
4. Preparing for More Frequent and Severe Climate Extremes
5. Reframing Societal Transformation by Challenging Underlying Assumptions
6. Climate and Social Resilience of Future Energy Infrastructure and Systems
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 priorities. Further analysis of the implications from an enterprise perspective of climate change and adaptation/resilience for the private sector is identified as a national research priority in NAF.

The EPA research project, Climate Change Adaptation: Risks and Opportunities for Irish Businesses , led by Sustainability Works, aimed to help to fill this research gap. The project identifies the biggest climate risks and opportunities for key sectors of the Irish economy. It also aimed to raise awareness of the need for businesses to adapt to the risks and seize the opportunities. The project took an in-depth look at five “core” business sectors that are important to Ireland’s economy: (1) chemicals and pharmaceutical manufacturing; (2) computer and electronics manufacturing; (3) food and beverage manufacturing; (4) hospitality and tourism; and (5) retail. It also considered the role of two “enabling” sectors that will be crucial to enabling adaptation to climate change across the private sector, namely financial services and energy.

All five sectors assessed were found to be vulnerable to climate change risks related to supply chain disruptions, changing policy, and changing consumer demands. The food and beverage manufacturing and the hospitality and tourism sectors were found to be the most vulnerable to risks related to more extreme weather events.

Selection of actions and (programmes of) measures

Not reported
In the development of sectoral adaptation plans, vulnerability and risk analysis are required as part of the process set out in Sectoral Guidelines for Climate Change Adaptation. These will be revised and updated in the next cycle of sectoral adaptation plans.

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.

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.

Met Éireann’s TRANSLATE project, which will be completed in 2023, will standardise and provide a single set of national climate projections for 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.

Ireland has committed to developing a standalone Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA). This project is being managed by EPA and is scheduled for completion in 2025.

The second edition of the ‘Status of Ireland’s Climate’ report was published in 2021. It comprises a collation and analysis of data from almost 50 internationally defined essential climate variables (ECVs) observed in the atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial environments. It also documents the status of Ireland’s climate-observing infrastructure, noting where it is robust, where gaps exist and where observing programmes need to be enhanced.

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

The EPA Research project “Policy Coherence in Adaptation Studies: Selecting and Using Indicators of Climate Resilience (2018-CCRP-DS.16) (PCAS)” 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. Building on this work EPA, UCC and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) are currently working on the delivery of a draft set of indicators for the roads sector as well as a methodology for the development and selection of indicators that can be applied across sectors as part of the sectoral plan development process. This work is scheduled to be fully completed in 2023 with the aim of ensuring that indicators form a more important part of sectoral monitoring processes in the future.
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) and in line with the requirements of the 2015 and 2021 Climate Acts. Implementation of sectoral plans is monitored via the NASC. Adaptation actions in the Climate Action Plans are monitored by the Department of An Taoiseach Climate Action Delivery Board. Implementation of SAPs falls under the remit of Sectoral Ministers who must also report annually to an Oireachtas Committee on adaptation policy measures adopted, including updates on implementation of NAF and SAPs.

The CCAC has a number of reporting obligations including annual and periodic reviews of progress. The CCAC undertakes an adaptation scorecard on an annual basis where it assesses, on the basis of a “traffic light system”, progress made in each national sector in implementing the NAF and progress at local government level and CCAC Annual reviews are published on its website along with a summary of the adaptation scorecard results. The CCAC Annual Review under the Climate Act assesses implementation of adaptation policy and progress towards climate resilience. The CCAC made significant submissions to the 2022 review (published online) of the NAF which informed the many of the recommendations in the Review. In 2016, the CCAC established an Adaptation Committee to consider matters relating to climate change adaptation.

Four Climate Action Regional Offices (CAROs), overseen by a National Steering Committee including DECC, drive climate action and link the local and national level. CAROs report to DECC annually on LA Adaptation progress. Local Authorities are now required to prepare Local Authority Climate Action Plans (LACAPs). Oversight and MRE structures for the development and implementation of these have yet to be finalised.
The NAF and the SAPs 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

Implementation of SAPs is primarily a matter for the Government Department which developed them. DECC oversees the implementation process via the NASC. The CCAC publishes independent assessments of progress made on adaptation within each sector on an annual basis The first cycle of SAPs were approved by Government in October 2019.

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. Local Adaptation Strategies have now been superseded by statutory requirements for each local authority in Ireland to prepare Local Authority Climate Action Plans (LACAP) every five years. These plans will include adaptation and mitigation actions in a single plan. LACAPs will be developed in line with national guidelines including detailed guidance on adaptation. Oversight mechanisms for the implementation of LACAPS are currently being developed.

Most actions in local adaptation strategies 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.
     

All adaptation strategies are accessible via the Climate Ireland and on the website of the local authority that developed it.

While Ireland makes a significant and defined contribution to funding climate adaptation measures in LDCs, the level of finance devoted to national climate adaptation measures is more difficult to quantify. There is a general challenge estimating the level of funding being devoted to Climate adaptation action nationally.

The assessment of the benefits of adaptation measures should ideally take into account the triple dividend of the investments - the reduced impact of natural hazards, the unlocking of economic potential and the ancillary benefits – together with the costs of adaptation and cost of inaction to select effective and efficient adaptation.

Most grey and green adaptation actions are undertaken at local and sectoral level and may also have co-benefits, but these are not generally being captured or quantified to any great degree.

In addition, it is not currently sufficiently clear what adaptation investment is and how this investment should be counted and/or delineated.

This challenge is identified in the NAF Review and one of the recommendations of the Review is that a new NAF should increase clarity on the issue of Adaptation finance, in addition to the costing of adaptation elements of infrastructural and other programmes in SAPs and LACAPs
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.
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.

Met Éireann’s TRANSLATE project, which will be completed in 2023, aims to standardise and provide a single set of national climate projections for Ireland. This will be a crucially important piece of work in aiding consistent adaptation planning across sectors.

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. As a result, Ireland has committed, to developing a standalone Climate Change Risk Assessment, led by the EPA, by 2025. Ireland will also 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.

An update on indicators was provided under previous heasings and is also relevant here.
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

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
• Research strongly aligns with national adaptation priorities
• A Local authority climate action training programme has been established and is building capacity of staff within the local authority sector.
• A Climate Information Platform, Climate Ireland has been established on a long-term time basis within EPA.
• 7 sectoral adaptation plans have been developed across 12 sectors
• Climate change is being considered strategically by the Government in its responses flood risk and coastal change
• Public engagement mechanisms such as the National Dialogue on Climate Action have been established and resourced.
• Ireland’s NAF has been reviewed
• Adaptation planning mechanisms at national and local level are provided for in legislation.
• The CCAC provides independent advice to Government and other relevant stakeholders on adaptation
• Adaptation planning has been established within Ireland’s Local Government sector via the establishment of the CAROs. Additional funding has also been provided to develop capacity within the local authority sector in advance of the development of local authority climate action plans. .
The NAF and SAPs 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.

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 has considered the implementation of adaptation policy and assessed progress towards climate resilience. CCAC Annual reviews and results of the annual scorecard (since 2020) assessments are published on the CCAC website.

The CCAC also 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 to DECC (then the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment) in December 2019. This document examines the learnings from the first cycle of statutory adaptation plan making under the Climate Act 2015 and NAF. The report is published on the CCAC website.

The NAF was reviewed in 2022 and the NAF review process considered feedback from consultations with key Sectoral, Department and Agency stakeholders. A public consultation on the Review was held from May to July 2022. It also contains a summary of the actions completed under the NAF as well as an update on progress made in implementing the NAF’s supporting objectives. The Review took into account key developments in the international and EU arena, notably the publication of the IPCC Working Group I and II reports, the agreement and publication of the new 2021 EU Adaptation Strategy, and feedback on current Adaptation policy in Ireland. It also focused on thematic areas where additional action is necessary and where this would need to be reflected in a new NAF.

The Review also took into account significant changes at national level including the progress of actions under the 2018 NAF, the relevant 2021 amendments to the Climate Act and the views of the CCAC expressed through its annual scorecards and direct submission to review process.

The final NAF review contains 32 recommendations in relation to adaptation policy. It recommends the development of a new NAF as well as the updating of national guidance on adaptation in parallel.
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 that has been established 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 was provided earlier in this report.

Since 2017, the annual CCAC reviews prepared under the Climate Act considers the implementation of adaptation policy and assesses progress towards climate resilience. CCAC Annual reviews and adaptation scorecards 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 CCAC also undertakes an annual adaptation scorecard assessing progress made in implementing adaptation actions at sectoral and local level.

CCAC recommendations and submission were used as an input into the NAF Review which took place in 2022. A key focus of the Review was on barriers to adaptation and on identifying policy recommendations to overcome them. The Review is published online.
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 will need to be analysed to identify potential impacts for different sectors in different parts of the country. The report climate projections are broadly in line with previous research adding 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.

Met Éireann’s TRANSLATE project, which will be completed in 2023, aims to standardise and provide a single set of national climate projections for Ireland. This will be a crucially important piece of work in aiding consistent adaptation planning across sectors.

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.

Building on this work Ireland has now committed to developing a standalone national Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA). This project is being managed by EPA and is scheduled for completion in 2025.

The second edition of the ‘Status of Ireland’s Climate’ report was published in 2021. It comprises a collation and analysis of data from almost 50 internationally defined essential climate variables (ECVs) observed in the atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial environments. It also documents the status of Ireland’s climate-observing infrastructure, noting where it is robust, where gaps exist and where observing programmes need to be enhanced.

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

Adaptation research under the EPA Research Programme(2021-30) is being progressed to fill knowledge gaps on adaptation on an ongoing basis: Research reports 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.
The NAF and Sectoral Adaptation Plans form part of an iterative process to be revised 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 Government recently approved Climate Action Plan 2023 which includes a chapter and measures on adaptation. This will complement existing action outlined in NAF and sectoral plans. Actions in the Plan cover adaptation measures that will be implemented across Government during 2023.

Ireland’s climate legislation the 2015 Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act was amended by the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act which came into force in September 2021. The Act introduces a system of 5-year economy-wide carbon budgets, which will outline a ceiling for total greenhouse gas emissions to be prepared by the Climate Change Advisory Council and presented to Government to consider and approve, with input from the Oireachtas.

The Act largely maintains the provisions on adaptation in the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015, however, it includes a number of new provisions that will strengthen existing governance and oversight mechanisms with regard to adaptation. The Act 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
• 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

The 2022 NAF review considered feedback from consultations with key Sectoral, Department and Agency stakeholders. A public consultation on the Review was held from May to July 2022. The review report contains a summary of the actions completed under the NAF as well as an update on progress made in implementing the NAF’s supporting objectives. The Review took into account key developments in the international and EU arena, notably the publication of the IPCC Working Group I and II reports, the agreement and publication of the new 2021 EU Adaptation Strategy, and feedback on Adaptation policy in Ireland. It also focused on thematic areas where additional action is necessary and should be reflected in a new NAF. The Review also took into account significant changes at national level including the progress of actions under the 2018 NAF, the relevant 2021 amendments to the Climate Act and the views of the CCAC.

The final NAF review recommends the development of a new NAF as well as the updating of national guidance on adaptation in parallel. It also contains over 30 supporting recommendations in relation to the content of the new NAF.

Good practices and lessons learnt

Not reported

Cooperation and experience

Ireland’s NAF recognises the importance of maximising synergies with other international frameworks, particularly 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’ and DECC also has responsibility for promoting the SDGs, and for overseeing their coherent implementation across Government.

The National Implementation Plan (2022-2024) set out Ireland’s strategy to achieve the SDGs domestically and internationally. The Goals are mainstreamed in domestic policy and the governance structure reflects a whole-of-government approach ensuring coordination and coherence; particularly 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 mapped national sectoral policies to identify which policies were most relevant to which SDGs. The SDG Policy Map and Matrix is available online. Government Departments have committed to achieving a wide-range of targets under these Goals, including those which focus on climate change adaptation efforts. DECC is 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 British Irish Council (BIC) Member Administrations established a climate adaptation subgroup, chaired by the Government of Ireland. Under this structure, the Government of Ireland hosted a 2020 online symposium for sharing experiences and best practice on climate resilient critical infrastructure. The BIC subgroup organised a COP26 blue zone side event to examine the impacts of climate change on coastal communities and heritage across BIC member administrations.

Met Éireann is a core partner of the Europe-wide EC-Earth consortium which develops an IPCC-class Earth system model. Two additional Irish partners are the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) and University College Dublin (UCD). The project will produce high-resolution simulations of Ireland’s future climate using EC-Earth4 combined with a range of regional climate models. Ireland is also working with the Commission and Member States on the EU Destination Earth project.

Met Éireann shared the development of its weather forecasting system with the international consortium HIRLAM (High Resolution Limited Area Model) since 1989. In 2019, a consortium was formed comprising Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Spain to develop a climate version of the Harmonie-AROME model system known as Harmonie-Climate or HCLIM. Met Éireann has recently joined the HCLIM consortium as a full member and will contribute to its further development. Joining the consortium enables Ireland to develop and strengthen its capacity to produce high quality regional climate change information.

Ireland is an active 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 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. In July 2022, the Government of Ireland published its International Climate Finance Roadmap, articulating its plan to more than double the levels of our climate finance to at least €225 million by 2025. Adaptation and resilience are clear thematic priorities in the Roadmap.

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). Adaptation to climate change is a primary priority for these countries. The vast majority of Ireland’s climate finance is for adaptation, primarily targeting LDCs and SIDS.

In addition to our bilateral channels and programming, Ireland provides significant support to adaptation action in other ways. Ireland supports the LDC negotiating bloc and the work of the UN and NGOs to integrate gender equality into climate action. Ireland is an active member and funder of the Least Developed Country Expert Group of the UNFCCC, which focuses on building the capacity of LDCs to develop and implement National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). Ireland, through the EU delegation continues to engage in UN climate negotiations on adaptation, focusing on efforts to advance NAPs and adaptation action in LDCs. Ireland supports the NAP Global Network and the Least Developed Countries Fund, both of which support the advancement of adaptation and NAPs.

Ireland has been a strong proponent of climate adaptation action at the international level.

Ireland 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. As a co-founder of the Champions Group on Adaptation Finance, Ireland is one of the leading voices calling for improved quantity, quality and access to adaptation financing for countries most exposed to climate change.

Ireland also endorsed the Principles for Locally Led Adaptation at the 2021 Adaptation Summit. Ireland demonstrates this commitment through our partnership with the LDC Initiative for Effective Adaptation and Resilience (LIFE-AR) and through our funding Irish CSOs working to address climate change across developing countries.

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 National Adaptation Steering Committee (NASC) chaired by DECC. NASC members include Departments with SAPs under the NAF and other adaptation relevant Departments and Agencies. Other networks include the National Local Authority Climate Action Steering Group. Oversight groups also exist for Climate Ireland and the National Framework for Climate Services in Met Eireann.

Atlantic Seaboard South CARO (ASBS) established a Local Authority Coastal Erosion & Coastal Change Working Group to develop a Scoping Report to determine the existing level of knowledge, staff, technical resources and workload in the area of coastal erosion in the local authority sector.
Four Climate Action Regional Offices (CAROs) were established in 2018 to assist local government to develop and implement climate action measures, and 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. The CAROs play an important role in ensuring that cross-sectoral issues are identified and addressed, and in community engagement and played a key role in coordinating the development of the local authority adaptation strategies, ensuring alignment with SAPs. Overall oversight is provided to the CAROs and their annual work programme by the National Local Authority Climate Change Steering Committee meeting four times a year.
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 was 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.

The Local Authority Climate Action Training Programme, which is funded by the Department, is being rolled out by Eastern and Midlands Climate Action Regional Office with support from Tipperary County Council and the Local Authority Services National Training Group. The aim of the programme is to develop climate action capacity to deliver on the actions of climate adaptation strategies/action plans and to begin to advance positive influence across all functions and activities performed by local authorities. The programme increases the awareness of all Local Authority staff of the challenges and opportunities posed by climate change, the role and actions being taking by the Local Government Sector and the role of the individual Local Authority Staff. The Climate Action Training Programme comprises a suite of six training pillars, each tailored and designed to specific target groupings with Local Authorities:

1. Championing Leadership – elected members and senior staff
2. Raising Awareness – all local authority staff
3. Building Capacity – climate action teams
4. Empowering Change – staff who work closely with local
communities, administrative and technical
5. Delivering Action – local authority outdoor staff
6. Actioning Policy – identified groupings of local authority staff across
any functional areas

The Programme made significant progress in 2021, with a strong focus on delivery of in-person and online training for different groups including elected members, climate action teams, indoor and outdoor staff across all local authorities. Over 9,000 local authority staff received training in person or online in 2021 under the Programme. That figure has risen to 14,000 in total over 2021 and 2022. Funding for this training programme has been increased to €777k for 2023
The National Dialogue on Climate Action (NDCA) was established by the government to facilitate the co-creation of the Climate Action Plan (CAP) by engaging people in climate-related dialogue, through an annual programme of events centered around an intensive series of public engagements events centered around “The Climate Conversations”.

The Climate Conversations 2022, to provide a platform for dialogue in which people from all walks of life could speak openly about climate change and how to move toward a more sustainable society, included an intensive series of stakeholder engagements, reaching those not yet engaged in the climate dialogue and populations who are particularly vulnerable to the transition. Members of the public we engaged through three mediums: focus group sessions, Public Participation Network meetings, and in-depth interviews with subject area experts.

Engagements included people in hard-to-reach areas of the country, volunteers, behavioural scientists, agriculture experts, members of disadvantaged communities, and many others. In 2022, 4,300 people across Ireland were engaged through the online consultation. 15 Public Participation Network (PPN) workshops were held at local level and 10 focus groups were held with particularly impacted sections of society. 10 in-depth interviews with subject matter experts captured insights into climate action. Valuable insights in relation to issues like awareness and engagement, climate literacy, just transition and sectoral policy areas. Key takeaways from these engagements were the need for fairness and consultation with underrepresented communities

The CAP23 Citizen Engagement chapter demonstrates a renewed commitment to continue to reach local populations and those vulnerable to the transition to carbon neutrality through the following additional measures in the NDCA programme:

A series of deliberative workshops delivered online and in regional locations involving a broad range of stakeholders, including those not yet engaged with climate action, and populations most at risk of climate change or impacted by the transition to a carbon neutral society

In Q2 2023, the NDCA will engage with Government Departments, State Agencies, Local Authorities, environmental non-governmental organisations, and community and voluntary groups to develop a National Climate Conversation on Local Actions (NCCLA). The NCCLA forum will allow communities, organisations, and individuals to showcase projects, engage in practical discussions, share best practice, and explore the scalability of local activity or individual innovations. The aim is to support the identification of projects and best practice emerging from the communities across Ireland, supporting the delivery of these innovative approaches in different locations throughout Ireland

Línte na Farraige (by Timo Aho and Pekka Niittyvirta) is a series of light installations across Irish coastal sites, located in Galway City, Blackrock in Dublin and Wexford Harbour, which reveal the risks of rising seas and storm surges and demonstrate the need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, to lower the line and adapt together to protect our coastlines. The symbiosis of art and science reaches far beyond rising sea levels and storm surges, touching upon biodiversity loss, coastal erosion and solistalgia.

The Atlantic Seaboard North (ASBN) CARO has been promoting the role of Nature Based Solutions as an adaptation approach to coastal erosion and flooding, with strong partnerships established and a number of relevant projects and research underway involving local authorities, University of Galway, Clean Coast, Leave No Trace and NPWS. Initiatives include:
• ASBN CARO lead an annual Sand Dune Awareness Campaign to highlight the role of NBS in coastal resilience and the need to value and protect these natural assets.
• CARO ASBN are a project partner with Leave No Trace, MSL-ETB and the University of Galway to develop a NbS training programme for coastal communities. The project is 1 of 18 projects being funded under Strand 2 of the Community Climate Action Fund, administered by Pobal on behalf of DECC. It builds on the work and partnership developed through the Sand Dune Awareness Working Group and the annual campaigns and looks to develop a series of classroom and onsite training for coastal communities and local authorities to understand the role of coastal NbS and to build the capacity and skills of local communities to adapt to climate change and on how best utilise beaches and dunes as coastal protection.
• Partnering with University of Galway on research, the development of demonstration sites around the coastline and engagement with coastal communities to understand their issues and requirements

Ireland is due to host the European Climate Change Adaptation Conference (ECCA2023) in Dublin in June 2023. Ireland’s local authorities are involved in the working group organizing the conference.
Local authorities in Ireland have key functions in relation to promoting local enterprise and are well used to engaging with private sector businesses in their administrative areas. Since their establishment CAROs have worked on identifying how local government can support the private sector in dealing with the impacts of climate change. The example below summarises a project led by the Eastern and Midlands CAROs to engage with businesses at regional and local level on climate action.

This project was established to identify ways in which local government could promote economic activity arising from climate action, through its economic development remit. The initial stages of the project included analysis of climate action policy at EU, national, regional and local levels.

A Project Steering group was formed and chaired by Offaly County Council on behalf of the CCMA Business, Enterprise, Innovation and Urban/Rural Development committee. Maynooth University was engaged to survey local authorities, including Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) to ascertain the capacity challenges within the sector and to complete a policy analysis report.

Initial findings from this survey and policy analysis were disseminated to senior local authority staff at a webinar and workshop held on 20 May, 2021. The Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) was also engaged to carry out research taking a comparative look at how local government in various jurisdictions across

The Climate Action and Economic Opportunities - Local Authorities Supporting Enterprise conference was held on 12 and 13 October, 2021. The event was attended by over 400 attendees on day one and c. 300 on day two. The conference heard from a range of speakers on how local authorities can, through their economic remit, support, encourage and nurture new and existing business and enterprise, as they transition to a net-zero economy through innovation, digitalisation and the adoption of more sustainable practices by highlighting real world examples from across the country.

A recording of the conference is available on the CARO website.

Awareness of the link between economic development and new businesses and climate action is now heightened across the local government sector and the CARO have been working with CCMA to further develop the sectors’ role in this regard.
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 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. The most recent report indicates that 19% of actions have been completed across all strategies with more green and grey adaptation actions being evident in recent years as softer supporting actions were completed in earlier years.

The requirement to prepare local adaptation strategies was replaced following the passing of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021 with a statutory requirement for all local authorities to prepare Local Authority Climate Action Plans (LACAPs) every five years These plans are currently under development in line with national guidelines.
Ireland’s local adaptation strategies have been in place since 2019. Ireland has taken a partnership approach to promoting adaptation at subnational level and has worked closely with the sector to put in place supports to build capacity within the sector to develop its own climate action policies. Ireland also has a number of relatively small local authority areas where capacities to engage with climate action need to be significantly developed. This requires a proactive approach from national Government to support local authorities to develop their own capacities and skillsets in this area.

The requirement to prepare local adaptation strategies was superseded following the passing of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021 by a statutory requirement for all local authorities to prepare Local Authority Climate Action Plans (LACAPs) every five years. These plans are currently under development in line with national guidelines. Following adoption of these plans by each local authority the LACAP will replace the local adaptation strategy as the primary policy document for climate adaptation at local authority level in Ireland.

Ireland has put in place the following supports to assist local authorities in developing their adaptation policies;
• Establishment of 4 Climate Action Regional Offices to coordinate on climate action and provide support to local authorities in their regions
• The development of a dedicated training programme, the Local Authority Climate Action Training Programme to deliver tailored climate action training courses to all levels of local authority staff and to embed climate action into existing local authority training structures.
• Direct grant supports to local authorities to develop their Local Authority Climate Action Plans (LACAPs)
• Regular engagement with the sector via oversight structures such as the National Local Authority Climate Action Steering Group.
• Development of Climate Ireland as a repository for adaptation relevant data.
• Ensuring broad representation of the local authority sector in national adaptation structured such as the National Adaptation Steering Committee (NASC).
• The provision of national guidance on the preparation of plans of strategies. Ireland has produced national guidelines on the development of local adaptation strategies and also on the development of the Local Authority Climate Action Plans (LACAPs)
Ireland’s National Contact Point for the EU mission on adaptation is located in Enterprise Ireland. To date, 7 local authorities have signed up to the Adaptation Mission Charter from Ireland. These are: Offaly County Council, Louth County Council, Sligo County Council, Donegal County Council and Galway County Council, Galway City Council and Mayo County Council. The Atlantic Seaboard North CARO and Ennis, Co. Clare have also signed up to be friends of the Mission.
‘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.

ASBS CARO and Cork County Council have partnered with UCC/MaREI to partake in a Horizon Europe project (A-AAGORA) as part of a European consortium. The A-AAGORA Project relates to Integrated Coastal Zone Management and the use of soft measure approaches to complement hard measures to deliver coastal resilience -including working with coastal communities, biodiversity plans, implementation of biodiversity restoration for example. The programme requires involvement of local partners including: Local Government, community groups and other local stakeholders to demonstrate applicability to communities across the EU. The consortium comprises of Portuguese (Lead) and Norwegian partners, both of whom are also proposing demonstrator sites. The project is due to commence in December 2022 and has a duration of approximately 5 years.

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 source of information presented in these pages is the reporting of EU Member States under 'Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action' and the voluntary reporting of EEA Member Countries.'
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