Dublin Bay’s sea level appears to be rising faster than initially forecast

Four local authorities in Dublin have completed climate action plans

Dublin Bay’s sea level appears to be rising faster than initially forecast, and has risen by twice the global average in the past 20 years, underlining the urgent need to build resilience to flooding, according to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

In addition, extreme weather events driven by climate change are already impacting Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown “at a significant rate, and are very likely to increase in their frequency and intensity”, its climate change action plan concludes.

Over the next five years the council "will prioritise nature-based flood defences where possible". However, there are "certain areas not suited to soft solutions", such as parts of the Loughlinstown river, the plan states. Therefore, the council is building physical flood defences that take into consideration current and future risks.

On a more positive note, the plan adds that while Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council produced 11,280 tonnes of CO2 in 2017, it has reduced its emissions by 24 per cent in the past 10 years. The council has also improved its energy efficiency by 28.2 per cent, and is on track to meet its 33 per cent energy efficiency target by 2020.


All four local authorities in Dublin have now completed detailed climate action plans and submitted them to Minister for Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton, as required under the national plan unveiled this year.

Along with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Fingal County Council and South Dublin County Council launched their plans on Monday.

The local authorities commit to hundreds of actions under five key areas: energy and buildings; transport; flood resilience; nature-based solutions; and resource management.

Under the plans drawn up with Dublin's energy agency Codema and the Dublin Metropolitan Climate Action Regional Office, each has agreed to apply key targets in their areas, including a 33 per cent better energy use by the councils by 2020, and a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

They also aim to make Dublin a climate-resilient region by reducing impacts of future (and current) climate change-related events, and actively engaging and informing citizens on climate disruption.

Extreme flooding

The plans outline how extreme weather is likely to affect their areas as the number of heavy rainfall days and extreme flooding events in the capital have risen in the past decade.

Met Éireann issued its first ever Status Red warning for snow in Dublin during February 2018, which was followed by one of the hottest summers on record during June and July. This highlights the need to reduce "the impacts that climate change is having on the environment, the economy and the citizens of Dublin", the reports point out.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council chairman Cllr Shay Brennan (FF) said the council would continue to collaborate with other local authorities in the Dublin region, and "continue to demonstrate local leadership across a range of action areas with the aim of supporting other sectors in carrying out their own climate change efforts, in particular citizens, businesses and community groups across the county".

The council's chief executive Philomena Poole said: "This is the moment when we must take action and show our ambition through real action to preserve the world as we know it for the generations that will come after us...This council is committed to continued climate action across the key areas of adaptation, mitigation and public engagement to contribute to reaching national and European energy targets to 2030, 2050 and beyond."

All four climate plans for the Dublin region can be accessed at www.dublinclimatechange.ie

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan is Environment and Science Editor and former editor of The Irish Times