Research 379: Policy Coherence in Adaptation Studies: Selecting and Using Indicators of Climate Resilience

Authors: Stephen Flood, Ned Dwyer and Jeremy Gault

Summary: Adaptation action is now urgently needed to reduce the social, economic and environmental impacts of present and future climate change to ensure resilience to both extreme and slow-onset events under a changing climate. This project combines an analysis of international best practice and approaches to the development of climate adaptation indicators, co-designed by key stakeholder representatives from relevant state agencies and regional and national government, to identify a tailored suite of Ireland-relevant climate adaptation indicators. The co-design process identified a suite of 127 recommended indicators – 15 are climatological indicators, 23 are impact indicators, 32 are implementation indicators and 21 are outcome indicators. Ninety-one of these indicators were identified as priority.

Research 379

Published: 2021

ISBN: 978-1-84095-000-2

Pages: 108

Filesize: 4,896 KB

Format: pdf

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Project Highlights

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Identifying Pressures

Adaptation action is now urgently needed to reduce the social, economic and environmental impacts of present and future climate change to ensure resilience to both extreme and slow-onset events under a changing climate. The need for action necessitates a systematic understanding and measurement of key indicators of climate resilience. Indicators are needed that measure, monitor, track and communicate climate resilience by demonstrating the state or trend of certain environmental or societal conditions in a given area and over a specified period of time. These indicators need to address local and national strategic priorities and hazards. They need to be scalable from a local to a national context and they need to be appropriate for reporting at national and EU levels as well as for international agreements. This should ensure that progress on adaptation to climate change can be reviewed and updated regularly and systematically, as well as being delivered in a format that is understandable and usable by decision-makers.

Informing Policy

The National Adaptation Framework (NAF), published in 2018, provides a strategic policy focus to ensure that adaptation measures are taken across all sectors and levels of governance to increase Ireland’s preparedness for, and reduce vulnerability to, impacts of climate change. To track progress in implementing adaptation actions and, more importantly, to evaluate the outcomes of such actions, it is necessary to ensure that a monitoring, reporting and evaluation (MRE) system is in place. Climate adaptation indicators, when properly designed and implemented, are valuable measures to incorporate into any MRE system and can provide information on the level of resilience of the system. Therefore, indicators have a potential role in reporting progress in relation to implementation of the sectoral adaptation plans and local authority adaptation strategies. There is a strong potential policy alignment of climate change adaptation monitoring and evaluation with emergency management planning, and sustainable development, in the context of developing green infrastructure and sustainable planning.

Developing Solutions

This project combines an analysis of international best practice and approaches to the development of climate adaptation indicators, co-designed by key stakeholder representatives from relevant state agencies and regional and national government, to identify a tailored suite of Ireland-relevant climate adaptation indicators. A literature analysis focused on both European and international approaches to understand the criteria that should be applied to the identification and selection of climate adaptation indicators. Priority climate hazards were identified, through a process of review and stakeholder consultation, as relating to sea level rise and coastal storms, pluvial and fluvial flooding, and extreme events (extreme heat, extreme wind, wildfires, drought and frost). The outcome of the co-design process was the identification of a suite of 127 recommended indicators – 15 are climatological indicators, 23 are impact indicators, 32 are implementation indicators and 21 are outcome indicators. Ninety-one of these indicators were identified as priority. A full list of indicators is tabulated in the report, with a description of each indicator, its sectoral relevance, potential data source, data availability and priority.

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A Summary of Policy Coherance in Adaptation Studies: Selecting and Using Indicators of Climate Resiliance

 

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