Climate Change Adaptation refers to how we plan for the negative effects of climate change and taking suitable action to prevent or minimize damage caused by climate change. It also includes consideration of where we might avail of potential positive opportunities that may arise from climate change. Well planned and early adaptation where possible can save money and lives later.
Adaptation can be described as a policy approach which seeks to protect people, buildings, infrastructure, businesses and ecosystems against the negative impacts of climate change, but also build resilience to that change, allowing society to take advantage of any opportunities that it might bring. Examples of adaptation actions include adjusting building regulations to take account of predicted future climate conditions; building and reinforcing flood defences and choosing tree species and implementing forestry practices that are less vulnerable to storms, temperature extremes and fires.
Climate change will create new vulnerabilities for Ireland and worsen existing ones. Some level of uncertainty will always exist regarding the exact impacts climate change will have on Ireland however there is sufficient data currently to enable Ireland to start preparing effective adaptation measures to address the likely predicted impacts of Climate Change now.