This week the Government published the first progress report on the Climate Action Plan 2021 that records considerable progress with 73% of the measures completed on schedule. 423 climate action measures were due for delivery in Q4 2021 and Q1 2022. Many of the outstanding measures are expected to be delivered in Q3 of 2022, reasons for the delay include capacity constraints, technical complexity, pace of legislative process and the need to align with other measures.
The report is structured to highlight sectors with the highest climate impact, to enable a better understanding of the measures that will contribute most to mitigation and adaptation targets. Agriculture is the largest emitting sector in Ireland and changes to land use and land use practice will have impacts for water resources. While most of the agricultural measures were completed, the training of advisors has been delayed.
The potential impact of climate change on water quantity and quality is the subject of the Water Forums current open research tender. We are seeking expertise on the impact of climate change on water resources so that we can make informed contributions to water policy development.
A topic in the recent podcast series from ICRAG discusses the impact of climate change in an episode titled ‘A Climate in Crises’ in this Dr Jean O’Dwyer mentions that we need to consider planetary temperature change as we would a change in human body temperature. An increase of 2˚C will make a human feel quite unwell, a 4˚C change and the human will be at considerable risk. The increasing temperature of the planet indicates that it is unwell, but as Dr O’Dwyer says, we are lucky because we know what is causing the problem and we have time to make the necessary changes to address the issues. To achieve this we need top-down and bottom up action to realise mitigation and adaptation objectives.
The Water Forum aims to inform top-down action through policy development and bottom-up actions through stakeholder engagement to realise better outcomes for water, climate and biodiversity.
Cover picture: EPA Hydrology report for May 2022 shows low rainfall and water levels are concentrated in the east and south of Ireland.