National Risk Assessment needs to make climate the primary and overarching risk

30th June 2014
News Item

An Taisce has responded to a consultation by the Department of the Taoiseach on the National Risk Assessment. The purpose of the National Risk Assessment is to identify the risks, both financial and non-financial, which Ireland faces and therefore ensure appropriate prevention and mitigation measures are introduced.

An Taisce in its submission made clear that climate change and fossil fuel dependence are the interrelated, biggest and defining challenges of our time and the consequences of which are becoming increasingly visible and are being exacerbated by unsustainable economic growth. This challenge, and the necessary development of policies to address them, are becoming a reality with which society has to learn to live.

Risks of climate change are of a different order than any of the others - a category of risk without precedent in human history, one that acts as a threat multiplier in all areas of public policy including investment, property value, economic well-being, social protection, public health and national security. Therefore, based on the available science it is the view of An Taisce that the primary and overarching risk to be addressed in the National Risk Assessment must be climate change and fossil fuel dependence with all other forms of risk seen as subsidiary to these.

Furthermore, An Taisce has commented that the National Risk Assessment should be far more advanced at this stage, given the obvious urgency of climate change as outlined in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2013) - Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The National Risk Assessment should be moving toward providing both mitigation and adaption measures, to reduce risk and uncertainty, by acting to significantly reduce Ireland’s dependence on oil and its greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors and thereby increasing the state's resilience and capacity to survive in a time of energy and climate uncertainty.

Click the link below to read the full submission.