Wednesday 13 December 2017

Flood defences vital, warns climate expert

Stock picture
Stock picture

Laura Lynott

The future impact of severe flooding in Ireland can be lessened only if the State concentrates efforts on flood defences, a UK climate change expert has said.

Dr Peter Stott, scientific strategic head for climate monitoring at the UK's Met Office, said Ireland was experiencing sea level rises of around 3mm a year. He told the Citizens' Assembly the "impact" was dependent on "what's done about the adaption measures on flood defence."

In August parts of Donegal were severely flooded, costing an estimated €15.3m.

Dr Scott said that even if Ireland committed to the "extremely difficult scenario" of decreasing the State's greenhouse emissions to below 1C - a condition of the Paris Agreement - the country still had to deal with the impact of environmental changes, such as flooding.

He said the State and society needed to consider all ways of life including, travel and how homes are heated, if Ireland was to make rapid environmental change. Dr Scott suggested cutting bureaucracy within the State to help people live a greener life.

Some 1,200 members of the public made submissions on climate change to the Assembly. The group will meet again today.

Sunday Independent

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