Ireland warned it is "not prepared for today’s climate and the climate of the future"
Pressure is being placed upon the Government to urgently act on climate emergency.
Ireland is not ready to handle extreme heatwaves that will become more frequent and severe in the coming years, nor the climate conditions that we are currently experiencing.
That's the stark warning sounded by the Climate Change Advisory Council ahead of a crunch Government meeting on Wednesday between Green Party leader Eamon Ryan and Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue in a bid to agree a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Monday brought the hottest temperature in Ireland in the 21st century of 33.0 degrees, the joint second-highest temperature ever recorded in the country, and the hottest Dublin has ever experienced.
Across the water on Tuesday, parts of the UK reached 40 degrees Celsius for the very first time. Wildfires broke out in Ireland, the UK, Spain and France, leading to significant scenes of devastation.
First published in 2018, the National (Climate) Adaptation Framework is currently under review following a public consultation process.
The Climate Change Advisory Council, an independent body that advises the Government, has submitted 34 recommendations, noting that Ireland is "not prepared for today's climate" and that "the climate of the future is set to get much worse with more frequent and extreme heatwaves, flooding and coastal surges".
Professor Peter Thorne, Chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council’s Adaptation Committee, said that Ireland needs to respond to ongoing shifts in climate as soon as posssible.
"Ireland needs to urgently take the steps required to ensure that it is as resilient as it can be within a world where extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe," he said.
"Decision makers at Government, department and national level must be better prepared in their adaptation planning and actions so they can take account of the full range of potential changes projected."
Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 on Wednesday, Marie Donnelly, Chairperson of the Climate Change Advisory Council, called for perspective and education on climate emergency.
“We haven’t taken heatwaves into account," she said. "You can see what’s happening across Europe. You can see how devastating it is. We also have to prepare for floods.
"It’s primarily infrastructure or the impact of infrastructure but it’s also the impact on us and our own lives," Donnelly added.
Donnelly also urged the Government to commit to future-proofing the country on an immediate financial level.
“We need a budget for this," she said.
"If you spend a little now you can save a lot later. Climate events cost a lot of money – they are unplanned expenditure, which makes it even more difficult to get the money. Budget now. Invest in resilience."
Featured Image of lifeguards at Seapoint Beach via Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie