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Press release April 27, 2009 Energy & Environment

The fact is the consequences of climate change are occurring much faster than previously suggested and are worse than we first thought

This means that we will have to live with and adapt to substantial climate change. Adaptation to climate change will be as important to our continued prosperity and wellbeing as the effectiveness of our efforts in the area of mitigation*, so said the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Mr. John Gormley, T.D. today (27 April) on the publication of a report prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) entitled, Climate Change in Ireland: Refining the Impacts for Ireland.

The Report concludes there is an urgent need to adopt appropriate mitigation and adaptation responses to the risks posed by climate change, notwithstanding the challenges of recent economic events. The Minister said that he supports this conclusion: *Proper planning and a coherent approach across all sectors of Irish society will be needed to will allow Ireland to adapt to the impacts identified in the Report.

Particularly important areas include water resource management, flooding avoidance and protection, agriculture and forestry, biodiversity protection and disaster preparedness.*

*Such planning will be hugely dependant on the quality of the scientific research. Irish research bodies are making a major contribution both nationally and internationally in this area, assisted by funding provided by my Department*, the Minister added.  Minister Gormley continued: *While we may not yet know the full details, we do know where current vulnerabilities exist for example in flooding, coastal erosion and water resource management. This report adds to the corpus of available research on climate change impacts.*

*My Department is currently working on a National Adaptation Strategy and this report gathering together the latest research provides key information for that Strategy. I recommend this report to all those likely to be affected by climate change, but especially policy-makers in the areas  most effected.  Adapting to climate change is going to be a continuous process of engagement and dialogue between my Department and all the various stakeholders, which ultimately is all of us. *


Sean Dunne

Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
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Energy & Environment