Regional climate action offices to be set up to help deal with flooding

The Government has announced funding of €10m for the scheme

Regional climate action offices to be set up to help deal with flooding

Weather charts tracking Storm Ophelia at the National Emergency Coordination Centre in Dublin | Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Environment Minister Denis Naughten has announced the Government is to establish four local authority regional climate action offices.

These will be rolled out over a five year period, at a cost of €10m, as part of Ireland's first statutory National Adaptation Framework.

It is hoped the offices will give a more coordinated engagement across the whole of Government, as well as building on the experience of dealing with "climate related emergencies".

Minister Naughten says the regional offices are a key action under both the National Mitigation Plan and the National Adaptation Framework.

Noting the importance of the role to be played by the local government sector, Minister Naughten says: "The National Adaptation Framework is quite clear on the key role to be played by local government in identifying our vulnerabilities and increasing our overall climate resilience.

"The local authorities already provide a hugely important role as first responders to extreme weather related events and their local knowledge and expertise will be essential in determining how successful we are going to be in addressing the challenges of climate change."

Plans for key sectors

The framework sets out the potential implications of climate change for Ireland, and also specifies the national strategy for the development of measures by key sectors and local authorities.

Under the framework, Government departments will be required to prepare plans for key sectors including agriculture, forestry, transport and flood risk management.

Minister Naughten adds: "The challenges presented by climate change are unprecedented, both in terms of the potential scale of the impacts and the transformation required to prepare for them.

"We are already all too familiar with the impacts that climate change is having on our economy and society - we have seen it with Storm Ophelia and more recently with Storm Eleanor.

"Our response to climate change is not just about dealing with future impacts - we must also be prepared for the here and now and the more immediate challenges that present.

"In July last year I published Ireland’s first National Mitigation Plan and now today with the publication of the National Adaptation Framework we are taking another vital step in enabling our transition to a low carbon and climate resilient economy and society by 2050."

Read the National Adaptation Framework here