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Climate Change

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment his Department has made of its capacity to adapt to climate change; and what plans he has to publish a climate change adaptation strategy. (241172)

The Adapting to Climate Change programme is responsible for the co-ordination of the Government's work on adaptation in England. In Northern Ireland—as in Scotland and Wales—the devolved Administration is responsible for considering how climate change will affect issues such as health, education and planning. However, it is recognised that there is a need to ensure coherence across the Administrations, and take a UK-wide approach on issues.

Therefore the UK Administrations are committed to working closely together to share best practice and develop initiatives.

My Department is working in conjunction with the NI Departments in responding to the challenges of climate change. In January 2007 the Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research published a report entitled “Preparing for a changing climate in Northern Ireland”. The report examined the ways in which Northern Ireland must prepare to meet both the opportunities and threats presented by the impacts of a changing climate. It focuses specifically on the impacts on, and the need for adaptation by, the public sector in Northern Ireland.

Under the Climate Change Act 2008 Northern Ireland will participate in the development of a UK-wide risk assessment which will help inform the development of a Northern Ireland Adaptation Strategy.