There is an urgent need globally, regionally and locally to identify Climate Resilient Development Pathways that integrate climate mitigation and adaptation policies, together with other social, economic and environmental considerations. Climate change threatens to undermine sustainable development, while also reinforcing inequalities both locally and internationally. At the same time, particular patterns and forms of economic development will have a large bearing on attempts to mitigate climate change, while also altering exposure to current and future climate risk – this interplay between economic development and climate change is at the heart of the concept of Climate Resilient Development. In this context, the overarching aim of this research project is to generate a significant step forward in our understanding of future risks related to climate change – specifically flood hazards – at a highly local level in Ireland; how these risks are perceived and valued, and how they interact with policies across a range of related sectors including planning, climate mitigation and adaptation, and community development.
The project’s objectives will be achieved using state of the art methods. Numerical flood risk modelling will be employed to produce maps of inundation for specific sections of the Irish coast under various climate scenarios. These will be combined with state of the art social science methods, including big data, satellite observations, GIS analysis and advanced econometric methods, to estimate exposure to flood risk over time and under different climate scenarios. Direct stakeholder engagement, including interviews and workshops will be used to identify examples of co-benefits and trade-offs between adaptation and mitigation policies, and their interaction with social, economic and environmental objectives at a highly local level. And finally, experimental behavioural science approaches will be employed to generate new evidence on the impact of flood risk information on house purchasing decisions and a better understanding of whether the presentation of risk information can facilitate more appropriate assessment of risk in informing individual behaviour. Ultimately, the project’s results will be used to develop evidence based community-led approaches to climate resilient development pathways across Ireland.