Floods threaten more than 8,500 buildings in Dublin, hears climate summit

A three-dimensional data visualization indicates that in a ‘business as usual’ climate scenario, more than 8,500 buildings in Dublin are at risk of coastal flooding by 2100 due to increasing global warming over the century.

Damaged areas include hotels, museums, the city’s financial district, private property and energy suppliers, especially power plants — concentrated in an area around the mouth of the River Liffey, according to climate technology company Cervest.

Using its advanced data visualization capabilities, their image released at the Dublin Climate Summit on Thursday shows the most likely locations affected by coastal flooding in the central Dublin area, close to the Liffey and near its estuary, up to an average depth of 1.7 meters – this is based on a mid-range prediction of likely sea level rise by climate scientists.

The visualization shows that, if not reduced, the magnitude and consequences of inactivity at the local level would have a devastating effect on cityscapes and infrastructures, with negative economic and social consequences, Cervest said.

“It reinforces the importance of minimizing global warming and that the places we know and take for granted as ‘permanent facilities’ are today part of a fragile and interconnected system being transformed by climate change. ,” it added.

The image only takes into account the risk associated with coastal flooding, but when other climate risks are added, such as extreme heat and wind stress. increasingly large areas of Dublin will be affected, it noted.

If mitigation policies are applied in the near future, such as meeting national emission reduction commitments, deforestation commitments and implementing mandatory legislation on reporting standards, this scenario could change, it was accepted.

“Yet a lot of inertia is already in place based on past climate events and human actions (and inactivity), so damage is inevitable. Even if we reach net zero [EMISSIONS]tomorrow, physical risk is already locked into our system because of past actions.

Globally, physical assets worth $2.5 trillion have already been threatened by climate change, the summit was told, while economic losses from climate change are expected to rise to $23 trillion by 2050.

While achieving net zero was now essential; “Companies and governments can no longer afford to ignore “physical risk”; the impact of climate change on the physical asset level,” said Iggy Bassi, founder and CEO of Cervest.

“You don’t have to be a climate scientist to understand this powerful image. It makes a global problem recognizable at a local level. My city is going to look like this… unless we take action,” he underlined.

“Cervest’s science-backed climate intelligence makes it possible to view connected assets at multiple scales. Using these insights, decisions can be made across multiple time frames, climate hazards and emissions scenarios. Identifying where we are most vulnerable is the first step in reducing our exposure to climate risks,” he added.

The conference will discuss the emerging role of climate intelligence in climate risk measurement and mitigation, and how global companies are managing climate-related financial risks, including Ireland’s approach to climate-related disclosure regulations.

Meanwhile, ahead of the summit, Friends of the Earth called on Taoiseach Micheál Martin and other ministers speaking at the conference to reject the narrow focus on investment in questionable distant technologies and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Speakers included Wall Street investors and private equity firms, including a Blackstone executive accused of financing the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, exacerbating the climate crisis by supporting fossil fuel investments and the infamous Dakota Access Pipeline. , it added.

FoE said such high-profile government engagement with global investors should be spotlighted and raises questions about the sustainability credentials of the companies involved.

The environmental NGO questioned the focus on technologies “that could divert attention from the need to quickly end the fossil fuel era and reduce emissions at source”.

FoE policy chief Jerry Mac Evilly said: “It is time to demand real emissions reductions now, not wait for distant carbon unicorns. New technologies are clearly necessary, but depending on investments in unproven technologies, such as CCS, emissions will not be reduced in the short term and there is a risk of becoming trapped in the ever-increasing fossil fuels.

“We must quickly stop using fossil fuels. The Taoiseach and the government must heed warnings from UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres, who stressed that fossil fuel interests are now “cynically” using the war in Ukraine to capture a carbon-rich future, noting that ‘the world is in a race against time. We can’t afford slow movers, fake movers or any kind of greenwashing,” he said.

Mr MacEvilly added: “The Russian invasion and related gas crisis have only highlighted the dangers of Ireland’s reliance on fossil fuels and the need for further concerted action to help those struggling to pay their energy bills, to to bring to light. Ireland needs to be clear that private investment should focus on immediate emissions reductions and be supported by mandatory human rights and environmental obligations for businesses.”

The biggest risk has been that the government narrows its focus to investing “in distant and questionable technologies” that facilitate the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, rather than demanding investment in real solutions that help reduce emissions and help households at the moment. help, such as energy-saving measures, he said.

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