Climate Change Audit WICKLOW COUNTY DRAFT DEVELOPMENT PLAN. Comhairle Contae Chill Mhantáin - PDF

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Climate Change Audit WICKLOW COUNTY DRAFT DEVELOPMENT PLAN Comhairle Contae Chill Mhantáin APPENDIX 7 CLIMATE CHANGE AUDIT CONTENTS 1.1 Introduction What is Climate Change? Strategic

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Climate Change Audit WICKLOW COUNTY DRAFT DEVELOPMENT PLAN Comhairle Contae Chill Mhantáin APPENDIX 7 CLIMATE CHANGE AUDIT CONTENTS 1.1 Introduction What is Climate Change? Strategic Context Climate Change Goals Wicklow County Development Plan Approach to Climate Change Climate Change Objectives Integrating mitigation and adaptation into the County Development Plan The source and impacts of Climate Change Conclusion 20 SECTION ONE 1.1 Introduction This appendix sets out the County Development Plan s land use framework approach to mitigation and adaptation to climate change. With the overall objective, in line with the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), of addressing the necessity of adaptation to climate change and reducing anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Section 1 of the audit sets out what is climate change and the strategic context of climate change strategies and policies, with Section 2 presenting an audit of how the plan has integrated mitigation and adaptation to climate change into its policies and objectives. While the County Development Plan separately deals with the areas of flooding and alternative energy, mitigation and adaptation to the climate change challenge and the relevant development plan objectives are addressed in Chapter 9, section 9.5 of the main plan document on Climate change and energy. Section 9.5 along with Appendix 11 Strategic Flood Risk Assessment and Appendix 9 Strategic Environmental Assessment should also be referred to. 1.2 What is Climate Change? Climate change refers to any change in the climate over time due to change as a result of human activity. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) defines climate change as a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods. The planet is warming up with the greenhouse effect, this is as a result of the increase in Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) causing an increase in global temperatures; this is the main source of the cause of climate change. Many human activities can generate greenhouse gases: manufacturing, farming, running your car or heating your home. The resulting gases are building up in the atmosphere, trapping more and more heat from the sun and slowly warming the planet. This warming is already disrupting climate patterns, and without strong counter-measures this will intensify. Ireland s climate is changing and the scientific consensus is that further changes are on the way. Incremental changes in climate are already evident, including changes in our average temperature, wetter winters, more intense rainfall, more flooding, summer droughts and rising sea levels, as well as subtle changes to our ecosystem. The impacts are uncertain but concerted action is required to prepare for and deal with these changes in Ireland. We need to implement measures that will help the public to adapt to these changes. An effective response to climate change must combine mitigation and adaptation. COUNTY WICKLOW DEVELOPMENT PLAN CLIMATE CHANGE AUDIT Mitigation Mitigation means any human intervention aimed at reducing harmful influences on the earth s climate system, including action aimed at reducing emissions and creating or enhancing sinks 1. Adaptation Adaptation to the effects of climate change requires action to both manage the risks and to make adjustments to reduce our vulnerabilities. It is an essential component of our long term, strategic economic planning. Adaptation means any adjustment to - (a) any system designed or operated by human beings, including an economic, agricultural or technological system, or (b) any naturally occurring system, including an ecosystem, that is intended to counteract the effects (whether actual or anticipated) of climatic stimuli, prevent or moderate environmental damage resulting from climate change or confer environmental benefits Strategic Context Climate change is a global issue and is a matter for all levels of governance to address, from an international level to a local level. A key overall goal is to restrict new emissions of GHG and to enhance carbon sinks, with climate change mitigation and adaptation policy the key tool to facilitate the required action to address climate change. Mitigation requires human action to reduce the levels of GHG emissions being released into the air and adaptation involves taking steps to adjust human and natural systems in response to existing or anticipated climatic change. Scientific research into the impacts of climate change for Ireland has been underway for some time by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), DoECLG, DCENR and others. The information gathered provides a broad understanding of the likely temporal and spatial distribution of changes in temperature, precipitation, sea level and flood risk, all which is now beginning to coalesce and this provides the evidence base necessary to inform climate change strategies United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) A number of international climate change agreements, frameworks and programmes have been agreed that provide information on impacts, vulnerability, adaptation to climate change and assessment of these, helping countries make informed decisions on practical adaptation actions and measures to respond to climate change on a sound scientific, technical and socio-economic basis, taking into account current and future climate change and variability. There are a number of bodies that work at a global level understanding climate change. The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February It is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It sets binding targets for 37 industrialised countries and the European Community for reducing 1 Source Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill Source Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015 COUNTY WICKLOW DEVELOPMENT PLAN CLIMATE CHANGE AUDIT emissions. The European Union and its member states provide funding and support to climate change adaptation in countries within the UNFCCC European Union Adaptation Strategy Through our membership of the European Union, Ireland is pro-actively supporting ongoing efforts under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to reach agreement on a comprehensive, global response to the threat of climate change. The EU Adaptation Strategy was published in April The strategy aims to make Europe more climate resilient. By taking a coherent approach and providing for improved coordination, it will enhance the preparedness and capacity of all governance levels to respond to the impacts of climate change. The Strategy focus on three key objectives: Promoting action by Member States Climate-proofing action at EU level Better informed decision making EU adaptation actions include mainstreaming of climate change (mitigation and adaptation) into EU sector policies and funds, including marine and inland water issues, forestry, agriculture, biodiversity, infrastructure and buildings, but also migration and social issues. The EU policy framework on climate change adaptation has guided our national approach as we prepare for the anticipated changes in Ireland s climate National Climate Policy The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015, published in January, sets out that the manner in which the transition towards a low carbon economy will be achieved will be through a National Mitigation Plan (to lower Ireland s level greenhouse emissions) and a National Adaptation Framework (to provide for responses to changes caused by climate change). It is proposed that these two plans will be renewed every five years, and will also be required to include tailored sectoral plans. The bill makes provision to ensure that public bodies consider fully, and integrate, the objectives set out in the National Low-Carbon Roadmap, national adaptation framework and sectoral adaptation plans in their strategic planning and day-to-day decision making and take the necessary steps in respect of mitigation and adaptation in their areas of responsibility. The Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) sets out objectives that are to be included in the development plan. With regard to climate change the following objective is set out in the Act: Section 10 (2) (n) - the promotion of sustainable settlement and transportation strategies in urban and rural areas including the promotion of measures to (i) reduce energy demand in response to the likelihood of increases in energy and other costs due to long-term decline in non-renewable resources, (ii) reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and (iii) address the necessity of adaptation to climate change; in particular, having regard to location, layout and design of new development; COUNTY WICKLOW DEVELOPMENT PLAN CLIMATE CHANGE AUDIT 1.3.4 National Climate Change Adaptation Framework 2012 (NCCAF) This National Climate Change Adaptation Framework provides the policy context for a strategic national adaptation response to climate change in Ireland and is designed to evolve over time as planning and implementation progresses, and as further evidence becomes available. The critical importance of planning and development measures in the overall strategic approach to adaptation to climate change is recognised here and the role of the spatial planning process, with full engagement of key stakeholders, in providing an established means through which to implement and integrate climate change objectives, including adaptation, at local level. The NCCAF provides an overview of challenges for sectors that are impacted from climate change, including water, coasts, marine, agriculture, forestry, biodiversity, energy, transport, communications, insurance, heritage and health, all of which are used in this audit assessment as a basis for ensuring this development plan has integrated adaptation to climate change into the land use policies and objectives of the plan Regional Planning Guidelines The RPGs are cognisant of the need to promote measures and actions which seek to address the issue of climate change and its potential impacts on current and future planning. The combined outcome of the integrated policy approach is therefore to create a sustainable region with the capability of changing in response to stress without compromising core functions, a region which could be described in terms of climate change as flexible and adaptable. A key issue for the RPGs is the importance of climate change and environmental issues and potential impacts at a more intrinsic level. The RPGs take a thinking globally and acting locally approach with the policies and recommendations contained in the RPGs are designed to implement the following: promote settlement patterns which are sustainable, cognisant and respectful of their surrounding environment; maximise efficiencies in water service provision, energy supply and waste management; promote sustainable economic growth, low carbon technology and a green business focus; improve transport provision facilitating a modal change to more sustainable and climate friendly modes of transport; increase the supply and provision of renewable energies; and, bolster the robustness and integrity of local and regional ecosystems through a regional green infrastructure strategy. Regional Climate Change Strategic Policy (CLIP1) states the following: CLIP1 While recognising the broad extent of processes which impact on the dynamics of climate change, planning authorities, in so far as possible, should nonetheless seek to provide for the integration of climate change considerations, based on best scientific evidence, into all policy areas relevant to them, including development plans, flood risk assessments, biodiversity and heritage plans and application of relevant particulars of associated plans and projects such as the River Basin Management Plans and ICZM. The development of Local Climate Change Strategies and/or associated Energy Action Plans by the local authorities is supported by the Regional Planning Guidelines. COUNTY WICKLOW DEVELOPMENT PLAN CLIMATE CHANGE AUDIT 1.3.6 Local level approach The NCCAF provides guidance on the role of Local Authorities in local climate change adaptation and guidance on the preparation of Local Adaptation Plans. National guidance in relation to the preparation of Climate Change Adaptation Plans is still to be prepared. Upon publication of the national guidelines, it is envisaged that the preparation of a Wicklow County Adaptation Strategy will, in due course, be carried out by an interdisciplinary team, in liaison with relevant stakeholders. After the publication of the Wicklow County Adaptation Strategy, if deemed necessary, the County Development Plan will be reviewed and varied where necessary to integrate the strategy into the plan. The new Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act (when passed) will also provide more clarity and details on local actions required to address Climate Change. 1.4 Climate Change Goals The table below summarise the climate change mitigation targets and goals for Ireland as set out under national and international commitments. United Nations Kyoto Protocol (UNFCCC, 1997) - Limit the increased green house gas emissions to a target of 13% above 1990 levels by 2012 Copenhagen Accord (2009) endorses the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol (not legally binding) European Union European Plan on Climate Change (2008), focuses on emissions cuts, renewables and energy efficiency To reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 20% by 2020 taking 1990 emissions as the reference To increase energy efficiency to save 20% of EU energy consumption by 2020 To reach 20% of renewable energy in the total energy consumption in the EU by 2020 To reach 10% of biofuels in the total consumption of vehicles by 2020 National National Climate Change Bill Low-Carbon Roadmap Proposed primary objective to bring a clear and strong focus on both the challenges and the opportunities of transition to a successful low-carbon future. The following plans are proposed under the bill: National Mitigation Plan National Adaptation Framework (NCCAF, published December 2012) National Low Carbone Roadmap COUNTY WICKLOW DEVELOPMENT PLAN CLIMATE CHANGE AUDIT 1.5 Wicklow County Development Plan Approach to Climate Change Climate change mitigation and adaptation has been integrated into the County Development Plan in a proactive way with the inclusion of relevant policy; a strategic core strategy goal incorporating climate change mitigation and adaptation into land-use planning, land-use policies and objectives that where relevant incorporate objectives that both mitigate against the source of the causes of climate change and adapt to reduce the impacts of climate change. Given the development plan s remit as a land use framework not all sources and impacts are addressed in the plan objectives. It is envisaged that a future Wicklow County Adaptation Strategy will have a broader remit in its approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation and will address all aspects of Climate Change, like promotion of climate change adaptation and details of actions required. The Strategic Environmental Assessment also has a key role to play in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Strategic Goal 10 of the Core Strategy seeks; To address the climate change challenge, as a plan dynamic, throughout the County Plan, directly in the areas of flooding and renewable energy, and indirectly by integrating climate change and sustainable development into statements of plan policy, strategies and objectives. 1.6 Climate Change Objectives 1 To have regard to the EU and national legislation and strategies on climate change in its decision making process, in order to contribute to a reduction and avoidance of human induced climate change. 2 To support the government programme for the development of national climate change legislation. 3 To implement the National Climate Change Adaptation Framework - Building Resilience to Climate Change by supporting the preparation of a Climate Change Adaptation Plan. 4 To support the development of a Wicklow County Adaptation Strategy and to support the land use aspects of the strategy. 5 To have regard to climate change mitigation and adaptation in assessing all large scale development including all critical transport and energy infrastructural developments. COUNTY WICKLOW DEVELOPMENT PLAN CLIMATE CHANGE AUDIT SECTION TWO 2.0 Integrating mitigation and adaptation into the County Development Plan Climate change has been addressed directly in chapter 9 and indirectly throughout the plan by integrating climate change mitigation and adaptation into the plan objectives. The approach taken in assessing whether the plan objectives have taken on board climate change mitigation and adaptation is to initially identify what is causing climate change and to ensure the development plan has incorporated objectives that mitigate the source of the causes and secondly to identify the impacts of climate change and to ensure the plan objectives adapt to the impacts of climate change. 2.1 The source and impacts of Climate Change The planet is warming up with the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is a result of the increase in Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) causing an increase in global temperatures; this is the main source of the cause of climate change. In Ireland the EPA are responsible for reporting on GHG emissions to the EU and they have identified six key sectors as the source of GHG emissions. The sectors are agriculture, energy, transport, industry & commerce, residential and waste. There is a need to mitigate against GHG emissions. The NCCAF identifies 5 climate sensitive sectors that climate change impacts upon and there is a need to adapt to these impacts. The sectors are: (a) Water, Coasts and Marine, (b) Agriculture, Forestry and Biodiversity, (c) Energy, Transport, Communications, Business and Industry (Insurance), (d) Heritage, and (e) Health. This section presents the source of GHGs and the impacts of climate change and shows the development plan objectives incorporated in the plan that mitigate against the source of GHGs and adapt to the impacts of climate change The source of Climate Change Greenhouse gas emissions are the main source of the cause of climate change. Many of these gases occur naturally and are necessary to keep the earth at the global temperature suitable for ecosystems and life, but human activity is increasing the concentrations of some of them in the atmosphere, in particular: carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) methane nitrous oxide fluorinated gases (F-gases) CO 2 is the greenhouse gas most commonly produced by human activities and it is responsible for 64% of man-made global warming. Its concentration in the atmosphere is currently 40% higher than it was when industrialisation began. Other greenhouse gases are emitted in smaller quantities, but they trap heat far COUNTY WICKLOW DEVELOPMENT PLAN CLIMATE CHANGE AUDIT more effectively than CO 2, and in some cases are thousands of times stronger. Methane is responsible for 17% of man-made global warming, nitrous oxide for 6% 3. The Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for annually compiling the inventories of greenhouse gas emissions for Ireland and for reporting the estimates to the European Commission and the UNFCCC. The latest publication on GHG emissions for Ireland are from 2012 (EPA, published April 2014). For 2012, total national greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to be million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2eq). The following six sectors 4 have been identified by the Department of Environment, Community an
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