Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, has launched a public consultation to review the National (Climate) Adaptation Framework.

The National Adaptation Framework, first published in 2018, sets out Ireland’s strategy for the application of climate adaptation measures across different government sectors and bodies, including local authorities.

The aim of the strategy is to reduce the vulnerability of the state to the negative impacts of climate change, but also to identify opportunities that may result from our transition to a climate-resilient economy and society.

The Green Party leader said that adapting to climate change involves action – to prepare for and to adjust to the effects of climate change, whether they may be current effects or predicted impacts.

Climate adaptation

Climate adaptation in Ireland may include actions to improve our resilience to flood events, to protect our critical infrastructure and to improve our biodiversity.

Launching the consultation, Minister Ryan said: “Ireland must continue to ensure that we have a fit-for-purpose framework in place to reduce climate vulnerabilities.

“I welcome the review of Ireland’s National Adaptation Framework which is taking place this year. This will inform future climate adaptation policy. I urge members of the public, academics and other stakeholders to make their voices heard in this consultation.

“The impacts of climate change are now an irreversible reality for every country, including Ireland.

“The recent IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report stressed that human influence on climate change, that has warmed our atmosphere, water and land, is undeniable. 

“While the most extreme impacts can still be avoided through enhanced adaptation and mitigation efforts, human-induced emissions have crossed a threshold; some effects are irreversible and are now locked in,” the minister added.

Adaptation framework

The strategic vision of the National Adaptation Framework is to develop a ‘climate resilient Ireland’.

The framework sets out a high-level ambition – to build the capacity of Ireland’s social, economic and environmental systems – to cope with climate change.

These systems must be equipped to respond or reorganise in ways that maintain their function, identity and structure, while also developing a capacity to adapt, learn and transform, according to the department.

Members of the public, stakeholders and interested parties can make submissions via an online questionnaire. The closing time and date for submissions is 5:30p.m on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.