Greens: Put national land-use plan at centre of climate change adaptation

Climate Adaptation Plan must work with nature to tackle threat
The Green Party today welcomed the publication of the Government’s first Climate Change Adaptation Plan, but warned that dredging rivers and building ever-higher walls would not be sufficient in tackling the threats posed by climate change.
Speaking today, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD said that the Adaptation Plan must work with nature and natural methods to tackle the threats climate change will bring.
He said: “We need to think long term and think big when it comes to adapting to climate change. That should start with a land-use plan where we reconsider the nature of farming, forestry, biodiversity management, and flood management and protection.
“All these areas are interconnected. By protecting our bogs, by changing how farming and forestry work, we can prevent flooding and restore life to rural Ireland.
“We need to look long term and heed the warnings of the scientific community that sea level rises and increased rainfall and storms put all of our cities and coastal communities at risk.
“Our adaptation will work best if we work with nature, rather than against it. Instead of dredging every river and building ever higher walls, we need to ensure every future development allows us to deal with more extreme weather events in a sustainable way.
“We welcome the establishment of Local Authority Regional Climate Action Offices to lead climate action on a local level. However, this must be matched by change at central Government. Fine Gael and the Independent Ministers must stop burying their heads in the sand and get serious about emission reductions in transport, energy, housing, and agriculture.”