Southern Regional Assembly RSES LowRes

Section 1 - Climate action and transition to a low carbon economy

• Observed increases in rainfall with projected reductions in average levels for 3 seasons, but a substantial increase in frequency of heavy precipitation events; • A projected increase in the number and intensity of storms in the North Atlantic; • Sea levels rising at approximately 3.5cm per decade, continuing to rise up to 0.8m per decade; • An increase in sea surface temperatures by 0.7C since 1850 with a projected warming of 1.9C by the end of the century. The observed and potential impacts of these climate changes is widespread with adverse impacts to agriculture, the marine environment, biodiversity, coastal zones (including coastal erosion) sea level rise, flooding, critical infrastructure, water management, human health and wellbeing.

Climate change is a universal challenge that will affect our future environment, economy and how our communities function. Irish per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are among the highest in Europe. The Government has identified ‘Climate Change as the most important long- term challenge facing Ireland’. With the launch of the Climate Action Plan 2019 and as a signatory to the Paris Agreement, the Government has committed to ‘the transformation required to achieve a low carbon resilient future’. The Climate Action Plan 2019 puts in place ‘a decarbonisation pathway’ to 2030 to reach the EU Target of Net Zero emissions by 2050. The implications for the Region are stark. Observed and predicted climate changes for Ireland include: • An increase in average temperatures of 0.8%between 1900 and 2011 with projected increases across all seasons of 0.9% -1.7% to 2050;

Southern Regional Assembly | RSES


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