All local authorities will be required to adopt a local adaptation strategy in line with the published ‘Local Authority Adaptation Strategy Development Guidelines’ to help them prepare for the impacts of climate change.

In announcing the move, the Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development Sean Canney TD, said that the government are developing a plan to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change.

“Local authorities, as the level of government closest to communities, have a key role to play in this. This approach will ensure consistency and coherency across all local authorities. The Department will review these local strategies once completed, with a view to mainstreaming effective initiatives and sharing learnings both locally and regionally.

“We want to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change, not a follower,” the Minister noted at the recent launch of the guidelines in Athlone. “The costs of adjustment are much higher and opportunities much lower or completely lost. Local authorities have a key role to play in this, and have already demonstrated a very effective response to extreme weather events in Ireland over recent years and with the recent establishment of the four Climate Action Regional Offices (CAROs).”

Under the National Adaptation Framework, 12 national sectors are also preparing sectoral adaptation plans and local authorities will work with these sectors through the CAROs to ensure effective co-ordination and coherence on actions proposed. The deadline for the completion of both sectoral plans and local strategies is 30 September 2019.