With flooding back in the news today, I thought I’d take the opportunity to mention that my colleague and co-author Swenja Surminski from LSE will be giving evidence tomorrow morning (Thursday) at the Oireachtas Finance Committee hearings on the Flood Insurance Bill. Details of the session are here. You should be able to watch proceedings online here. The Flood Insurance Bill can be viewed here.
Author: Tom McDermott
I am a Government of Ireland Research Fellow at the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU), Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway, and a Visiting Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. My research is at the intersection of environmental and development economics. I am co-editor with Sam Fankhauser of The Economics of Climate Resilient Development (Edward Elgar, 2016). I am also Principal Investigator for a project funded by the Environmental Protection Agency on the economic impacts of flooding in Ireland, and options for managing flood risk, including an emphasis on the role of insurance.
[Post co-authored by Paul Kilgarriff and Tom McDermott]
This time last year Ireland was in the middle of its wettest winter on record [PDF]. A series of Atlantic Storms battered the country, beginning with Storm Desmond in early December, followed by Eva and Frank. Rainfall levels in some areas were up to 300% of normal levels. Extensive flooding around the country caused widespread damage – hundreds of homes and businesses were flooded, and thousands more were cut off by flood waters. In many places the floods did not recede until well into the new year.
Various impacts of the flooding are detailed in the recent report by the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM)[PDF]. Almost €1.8million in humanitarian assistance was paid out to affected households; close to €1m to farmers; local authorities received special funding of €18m for clean-up costs; while damage to the road network was estimated at over €100m. Aside from damages, the flooding also caused substantial disruptions to everyday life — 350,000 customers suffered disruptions to electricity supply, and 23,000 households were placed on boil water notices. The flooding also resulted in substantial travel disruptions – in particular as a result of flooding on the road network.
The 32nd Dáil has already thrown up some, eh, interesting views on climate change , which I previously responded to here. The new Dáil also sees the return of the Green Party, with two TDs elected.
With the formation of the new government on Friday we now have a Department for “Communications, Climate Change and Natural Resources“. Denis Naughten, independent TD for Roscommon-Galway, has been appointed as Minister.
On the one hand, having a government department with climate change in the title seems like progress.