Displaying items by tag: Climate Change
Marine Minister Michael Creed, yesterday (Thursday 31 October) welcomed Government approval for the Agriculture, Forest and Seafood Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plan to prepare for the impacts of climate disruption.
“I am very pleased the Agriculture, Forest and Seafood Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plan has been approved as part of the Whole-of-Government approach adopted under Climate Action Plan 2019,” he said.
“We have taken a consistent approach to adaptation planning across the Department [of Agriculture, Food and the Marine] and have prepared a single plan covering the agriculture, forest and seafood sector.”
Th minister added: “In addition to reducing our emissions, we must ensure that our food production system is resilient and ready to adapt to future climate risk.”
Minister Creed described the plan approved today as “an important next step in our goal to build a strong and resilient sector that is well placed to take on the challenges and opportunities presented by our changing climate”.
The Adaptation Plan highlights a number of case studies identifying how the sector has and will continue to be impacted by changing weather patterns and steps towards building resilience.
The plan and its associated documents are available on the DAFM website HERE.
Seán Canney, Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, has confirmed the policy principles that will underpin the Taoiseach and Minister Bruton’s announcement to cease new exploration for oil offshore Ireland.
This announcement, in an address to the United Nations Climate Action Summit on 23 September, came on foot of advice received from the Climate Change Advisory Council on what the future of oil and natural gas offshore exploration should be in the context of the recently published Climate Action Plan.
The council noted that the plan envisages a major shift away from oil combustion within heat and transport sectors towards renewables in the coming decade. Therefore, the council advised that the exploration for, and recovery of new offshore oil reserves, is not compatible with a low carbon transition.
The council further advised that the continued exploration for and extraction of new offshore natural gas reserves can be consistent with a low-carbon transition.
Gas is considered to be a transition fuel. This is particularly the case for Ireland, the Government says, where we do not have nuclear power, hydro power at scale or geo-thermal power, which other countries can use to provide back-up for wind and solar power.
The Government asserts that natural gas, as the lowest emitting fossil fuel, will provide the best electricity back up in 2030 when Ireland reaches 70% renewable electricity.
The minister will commission an Energy Sustainability and Security Review which will consider the role of fossil fuels during the transition. It will also consider the role that other technologies can play.
Minister Canney confirmed yesterday (Wednesday 30 October) the following principles in relation to petroleum exploration in the Irish Offshore:
- All future licencing rounds in the currently closed area offshore (Atlantic Margin, 80%) will be for natural gas only and not oil.
- All new licence applications in the currently open area (Celtic Sea, Irish Sea, coastal areas, 20%) will be for natural gas only and not oil, applicable from the day of the Taoiseach and Minister Bruton’s announcement on 23 September.
- All applications and authorisations in place before the announcement was made will not be affected by the decision.
The minister has asked the department to prepare a policy statement which will set out:
- The basis for the underpinning principles in the broader context of the Government’s Climate Action Plan;
- The future development management framework for the exploration and production of gas, as a transition fuel, in Ireland’s offshore; and,
- The role of natural gas in ensuring Ireland’s energy security.
“These principles underpin the Government’s decision for no new oil exploration offshore Ireland. They provide further clarity on the implementation of this decision and are consistent with the Climate Action Plan published by Government on 17 June 2019,” Minister Canney said.
“The Climate Action Plan puts Ireland on a trajectory to meet our 2030 target for carbon emissions, which is consistent with achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
Minister Bruton added: “Over the next decade, we will rapidly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels as we move to 70% renewables.
“The Government sought advice from the Climate Advisory Council on exploration in the context of this transition and has accepted that advice to ban new oil exploration off Irish coastal waters. Today we agreed the terms of that ban.”
Minister of State Ciarán Cannon has announced €4 million in funding to the Ocean Initiative, which supports research for small island developing states in the area of coastal and marine management.
Speaking ahead of the Our Ocean Conference in Oslo, Norway last week, the Minister of State for Diaspora and International Development said: “Building on Ireland’s previous commitments, this year I am proud to commit €4 million to a newly established Ocean Initiative.
“This initiative will provide short-term capacity support to small island developing states (SIDS), and fund long-term collaborative research between Irish counterparts, private sector or academics, and SIDS in the area of coastal and marine management.”
The new initiative is part of Ireland’s recently launched Strategy for Partnership with SIDS and will help meet commitments made in A Better World, Ireland’s policy for international development, to address climate change and protect our marine environment.
Minister Cannon added: “This conference is a welcome opportunity for Ireland to engage with representatives of international governments, business, NGOs, foundations, research institutes and international organisations in presenting commitments that will contribute to the protection and sustainable use of the world’s oceans.”
A new review of the state of the seas off Northern Ireland and the UK reveals a ‘mixed picture’ in terms of biodiversity, as BBC News reports.
While the UK Government’s marine strategy assessment had good things to say about reduced contaminants in seawater and seafood caught around UK shores, marine litter remains a problem, as does the impact of climate change.
It also noted that seabird populations are particularly at risk, and that more studies were needed to evaluate the health of the likes of whales and dolphins.
“Fifty per cent of biodiversity in Northern Ireland is actually below the sea,” said scientific officer Helen Hanratty who helped put the report together.
BBC News has more on the story HERE.
An ‘Irish ocean observing system’ is among six research projects to receive €25 million in funding through the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Infrastructure Programme.
Innovation Minister Heather Humphreys yesterday (21 October) announced the investment as part of Future Jobs Ireland that will be distributed among the six infrastructure projects “in areas of strategic priority across a variety of disciplines”.
Mr Michael Gillooly of the Marine Institute is lead on the EirOOS Irish Ocean Observing System, a component of the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) that aims to further scientific and technical research capacity in key areas such as sea level science, ocean circulation and carbon sequestration, allowing us to better understand the connection between Ireland and the Atlantic.
Announcing the awards, Minister Humphreys said: “The quality of research being undertaken in Ireland today is testament to our world-class research community. This talent combined with the support provided through programmes like this one maintains our reputation as a great place to do business and work.
“The successful projects are at the cutting edge of innovation and are helping us to achieve our goal of preparing now for tomorrow's world.”
The SFI Research Infrastructure Programme aims to ensure Irish researchers have the capacity to apply for international funding opportunities, including Horizon 2020 funding calls.
Additionally, the programme eases inter-institutional sharing of national research infrastructure, especially for institutes of technology, as well as effective collaborations with industry.
Welcoming the investment in EirOOS, new Marine Institute chief executive Dr Paul Connolly said: “Sustainably managing our oceans and understanding the impacts of ocean and climate change, requires increased observations on and within the ocean.
“These observations underpin research and advice to support policy makers in sustainably managing our oceans and also in developing adaptation and mitigation plans for climate change impacts.
“The investment in the EirOOS infrastructures will enable enhanced ocean observation and underpin forecasting and modelling in the marine area.”
Dublin Bay’s sea level seems to be rising faster than forecast — and at twice the global average over the past two decades.
The Irish Times reports on this startling claim from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s (DLRCoCo) climate change action plan, which also notes that weather extremes are “likely to increase in their frequency and intensity”.
The report comes following one of Ireland’s hottest summers on record, itself just months after a first ever Status Red warning for snow was issued by Met Éireann.
Three Dublin local authorities launched their climate action plans on Monday (9 September), with DLRCoCo’s plan pledging to “prioritise nature-based flood defences where possible” over the next five years.
The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.
Campaigners for the environment, Extinction Rebellion have targeted the Port of Cork in their latest protest.
The group said the action was carried out in a non-violent and non-destructive way.
Extinction Rebellion is an environmental movement aiming to draw public and government attention to the need to tackle climate change.
In April and July, the group staged ‘die-in’ protests, on Oliver Plunkett Street and outside City Hall, where participants symbolically played dead to mimic an apocalypse.
The protest group is adamant that radical action must be taken to immediately halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2030.
Click here for more on the story.
Young climate activist Greta Thunberg is taking to the high seas as she plans a zero-carbon journey from Europe to a UN climate summit in New York this September.
As RTÉ News reports, the 16-year-old Swede intends to cross the Atlantic on Boris Herrmann and Pierre Casiraghi’s Monaco-based 60ft Mono60, Malizia II, which has previously competed in the Rolex Fastnet Race.
The foiling vessel is equipped with solar panels and underwater turbines to generate energy at sea.
It will also bear the slogan ‘#Fridays for future’ inspired by Thunberg’s regular Friday protests against climate inaction at the Swedish parliament.
Thunberg refuses to fly due to the negative impact of commercial aviation on the environment.
RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.
The Irish state is particularly aware of the threat climate change poses through sea level rises, given its island status, Tánaiste Simon Coveney has said.
Ahead of the conference, Mr Coveney welcomed the leaders and ambassadors from more than 30 island states such as the Seychelles, Mauritius, Antigua, Haiti, Barbados, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
“As a small island, Ireland understands the threats climate change poses to our friends in the Pacific, Caribbean, Atlantic and Indian oceans. It threatens their very existence,” Mr Coveney said.
“Ireland strongly believes that we can only address this challenge of a generation if we take strong climate justice approach. Emphasising the needs and realities of those who have the most to lose, yet have done least to contribute to the problem, will always be a centerpiece of our approach.”
Mr Coveney said Ireland wants to give leadership on the important issues of protecting the seas and maritime environment and countering climate change.
For more on the conference at the Ocean Summit, click here.
#MarineWildlife - A new project which aims to promote international action and co-operation to conserve vulnerable migratory fish species launched yesterday, Thursday 28 March.
The DiadES initiative will see 30 partners from different countries participate in this European project, with Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) leading out on the project in Ireland.
The project launches as migratory fish and their habitats continue to come under pressure as a result of human activity and climate change.
It will focus on fish such as shads, lampreys, salmon, trout and mullet which are known as ‘diadromous’ fish as they migrate between fresh and salt waters to reproduce or feed.
The DiadES initiative intends to improve knowledge of the ecological, economic and cultural benefits offered by these migratory species while assessing the possibility of these species changing their locations due to climate change.
It will also examine the emergence of new interactions between fish territories as a result of these relocations.
In addition to collaboration across research and knowledge sharing between countries, the project will take a global multidisciplinary approach.
It will focus on several species across different geographical areas and involve researchers in the field of natural sciences and environmental economists as well as an experienced network of fish managers.
As part of the research, a transnational interactive atlas will be produced which will outline the current distribution of diadromous fish and how they help the ecosystem. This will forecast trends in the geographical distribution of various species and look at possible redistribution of some species as a result of climate change.
The programme will also design a platform for stakeholders to explore different management strategies.
Dr Cathal Gallagher, head of research and development at IFI, said: “Throughout their life cycle, diadromous fish provide ‘ecosystem services’. This means they provide food, regulate and support the ecosystem through the nutrient cycle and offer a recreational pursuit to local communities. All of these fish generate significant ecological, economic and cultural benefits for local communities across Europe.
“We are keen to play our role in assessing and enhancing the role these fish play while also assisting them as they navigate the effects of climate change which has resulted in a reduction in their distribution.”
The DiadES project is led by the French research institute Irstea and is financed by the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to the value of €2.2 million.