The Irish Government is to set up four regional climate action offices involving local authorities to provide a more coordinated approach for adapting to the challenges of climate change. A large part of their work will be focused on adapting to the risk of flooding. The National Climate Change Mitigation Plan will be published today by Minister for Communications, Climate Action, and Environment Denis Naughten.
It is aimed at enabling the nation to adapt to and deal with the impacts of climate change and to the extreme weather events that accompany it, such as those experienced when Storm Ophelia hit Ireland last October. Three people lost their lives during the storm, on-land wind gusts of up to 156km/h were recorded, 385k homes lost electricity supply, 109k lost their water supply, and 148 waste water schemes were knocked out of action.
The plan will set out a national pathway for achieving a more climate resilient economy and society:
- It will include a key role for county councils and better coordination of climate adaption measures across Government departments and State agencies.
- It will highlight the importance of climate adaptation considerations in the built environment and in spatial planning.
- It will encourage local authorities to consider acquiring flood prone lands for suitable, but less vulnerable land use.
The Government estimates that the total value of assets lost as a result of flooding events in Ireland has averaged almost €200m per year in recent years. This number is expected to increase six-fold to almost €1.2bn by 2050.
The aim of the new NPA co-funded SECURE project is to transfer and implement innovative energy solutions for housing and public infrastructure across NPA regions with different maturity-levels. Knowledge transfer will be demand-led, supported by a quadruple helix approach, and impact will be maximised by focusing implementation in small smart energy communities and building up local authority capacity.
The kickoff seminar will invite discussion, examine best practice and promote transnational networking on a number of issues specifically related to awareness raising and societal support, such as:
- How can we encourage citizens to be part of the transition to future energy paths and the policymaking process that goes with it?
- Given the scale of changes required, what are the right mechanisms to engage communities and build awareness?
- What formal and informal approaches could be used to increase energy awareness?
- How can public authorities develop and share effective messages?
- What activities and programs have been successful transnationally?
With a heightened awareness of the need for increased energy efficiency and renewable technology solutions comes an opportunity to engage communities and actively involve them in the transition towards a low-carbon society.
Effective engagement with local communities is an integral part of the SECURE project. Therefore, this event will equip partners with practical strategies, verified techniques and transnational know-how to ensure a positive project outcome.
The seminar is co-financed by the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme and is arranged in cooperation with the GREBE (Generating Renewable Energy Business Enterprise) and Poveria biomassasta projects.
Date: 18 May 2016 09:00 – 17:00
Location: Metla House, Yliopistokatu 6, FI-80101, Joensuu, Finland