Climate Change and Heritage


All parts of our heritage, built natural and cultural are vulnerable to our changing climate. As the climate changes, we may see more drought, more flooding and more extreme weather events, all of which will take their toll on our fragile archaeology, architectural heritage, biodiversity and habitats. While the scale of the challenge we face may sometimes seem overwhelming,  there is also an opportunity with heritage projects to engage people with climate mitigation and adaptation in a way that helps communities to feel empowered.

The projects and events listed here, and more to come in the future, will explore this relationship between climate, heritage and communities.

The Heritage Officer is a member of the Laois County Council Climate Action Team, and details of the work of that team in the wider climate action area are here.

Climate Change and Heritage Webinar Series

A series of webinars on aspects of heritage and climate change was held in January and February 2022. Full details and recordings here.

Abbeyleix Climate Action Project

A project undertaken in partnership with Abbeyleix Tidy Towns supported by Creative Ireland in 2020-21 explored different ways of engaging local communities with all aspects of climate change.

Full details here.

Pictured with the trophy awarded to the Abbeyleix Climate Action Project and Laois County Council as winners of the Sustainable Communities prize in the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards 2021. From left: Robbie Quinn, chairman Abbeyleix Tidy Towns; Catherine Casey, Laois Heritage Officer; Mary White, Abbeyleix Tidy Towns; Dr Niamh Shaw, Science Communicator in Residence for the Abbeyleix Climate Action Project; Cllr Conor Bergin, Cathaoirleach of LCC; Angela McEvoy, A/Director of Services Housing, Regeneration and Planning LCC; Dr Fiona MacGowan, Ecologist and advisor to Abbeyleix Tidy Towns and Cllr John Joe Fennelly, Abbeyleix Tidy Towns. Supported by Creative Ireland Laois as part of the Creative Ireland Programme 2017-2022, in partnership with the Heritage Office of Laois County Council, Midlands Science and Abbeyleix Tidy Towns.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

Story map of the Climate action walk available here.

Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plans

The National Climate Action Plan sets out actions across every sector of society which will ensure we meet our 2030 climate commitments, putting us on a trajectory to be net zero emissions by 2050.
Included in the Plan are climate adaptation measures to ensure that the State is ready to protect people and heritage from the negative effects of climate change in Ireland and steps to limit any damage caused. Links to relevant Sectoral Adaptation Plans are below.

Built and Archaeological Heritage

Biodiversity