Ireland’s first statutory National Adaptation Framework (NAF), published in January 2018, sets out the context to ensure local authorities, regions and key sectors can assess the key risks and vulnerabilities of climate change, implement climate resilience actions and ensure climate adaptation considerations are mainstreamed into policy making. In January 2018, my Department also entered into a funding commitment of €10m over 5 years to establish four Climate Action Regional Offices. This recognises the significant obligation which has been placed on local government to develop and implement its own climate action measures – both in terms of mitigation and adaptation.
A key work item for the Climate Action Regional Offices in 2019 will be to support the local authorities within their region to develop their local adaptation strategies and ensure they align with national adaptation priorities. The development and approval of the strategies themselves will however be the responsibility of each individual local authority.
Under the National Adaptation Framework, each local authority is required to develop a local adaptation strategy in line with “Local Authority Adaptation Strategy Development Guidelines” which were published by Minister of State Canney on 1 December 2018. Local authorities have been set a deadline for the completion of local strategies of 30 September 2019.
My Department will monitor progress on the development of local adaptation strategies via the National Adaptation Steering Committee, the Climate Action High Level Steering Group as well as through the various governance structures established for the Climate Action Regional Offices.