Environmental Research Institute - Book Chapters

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    Towards a better understanding of energy poverty
    (Routledge, 2023-12-01) Dunphy, Niall P.; Lennon, Breffní; Velasco-Herrejón, Paola; Horizon 2020
    Energy poverty can manifest itself in households unable, for reasons of access and/or affordability, to source clean energy for necessities such as heat, light, cooling, cooking, and appliance use, or having to use an excessive portion of their disposable income to provide these essentials. Developing more effective responses to this social challenge necessitates a deeper appreciation of energy poverty and the different ways in which it manifests. While there has been some arguing for the importance of appreciating the lived experience of the energy poor, much of the literature on energy poverty has tended to be quantitative in nature. Work within the EnergyMeasures project identified a gap between the macro- and meso-level analysis of energy poverty and the identification of individual energy poor households. Energy poverty is fundamentally a human condition. The various definitions of energy poverty speak of people being unable to access or afford sufficient energy to meet their basic service needs.
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    The global face of energy poverty
    (Routledge, 2023-12-01) Velasco-Herrejón, Paola; Lennon, Breffní; Dunphy, Niall P.; Horizon 2020
    For the first time in decades, the price pressures and economic upheaval primarily caused by the global energy crisis – sparked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and post-COVID pandemic supply chain stress – have led to a rise in the number of people without access to energy. The human consequences of energy poverty include a significant deterioration in physical health and mental well-being, along with premature death due to severe winter and summer conditions, unhealthy and/or restricted lifestyles, and social exclusion. There have been efforts to reduce energy poverty in both developing and developed countries over the past few decades. The need for electricity grid expansion has long been articulated in developing and developed contexts since the first half of the 20th century. More recently, global energy markets and their effects on energy availability and prices, as well as pressing environmental concerns, have induced a surge in research on energy deprivation, a condition that previously had little public recognition.
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    Compensation duties
    (Springer Nature Switzerland AG, 2023-02-28) Mintz-Woo, Kian
    While mitigation and adaptation will help to protect us from climate change, there are harms that are beyond our ability to adapt. Some of these harms, which may have been instigated from historical emissions, plausibly give rise to duties of compensation. This chapter discusses several principles that have been discussed about how to divide climate duties â the polluter pays principle, the beneficiary pays principle, the ability to pay principle, and a new one, the polluter pays, then receives principle. The chapter introduces several challenges to these principles from the literature, before discussing which policies and institutions might be relevant to compensation, whether internationally (e.g., the Green Climate Fund) or intergenerationally (e.g., Broome and Foley's World Climate Bank). It also describes some recent successful climate cases that require both the Dutch government and a private firm to act in accordance with climate targets to avoid potential rights violations. Finally, it discusses one of the most important international concepts with respect to compensation: the Loss & Damage pillar of climate policy.
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    Enhancing integration of disaster risk and climate change adaptation into Irish emergency planning
    (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022) Medway, Peter; Flood, Stephen; Cubie, Dug; Le Tissier, Martin
    This chapter critically assesses the integration of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction with a special focus on the Irish policy and governance context. The chapter first presents a comprehensive overview of the Irish policy environment for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction including its current level of integration. Analysis of alignment with global and regional drivers of integration is then considered. Next, drawing on empirical research conducted with multidisciplinary experts across the Republic of Ireland, the chapter employs the SHIELD model, developed by the EU-funded ESPREssO project, which outlines six pathways to enhance integration across the domains of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. The pathways comprise of sharing knowledge, harmonising capacities, institutionalising coordination, engaging stakeholders, leveraging investments and developing communication. Findings of stakeholder focus groups and survey responses highlight the challenges and opportunities for impactful integration between climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in Ireland from a practitioner perspective across the six SHIELD pathways. Finally, conclusions from the study indicate the importance of governance, management and coordination of systems for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction; the sequencing of policy-making, planning and research; and the significance of specificity in relation to use of the six SHIELD pathways.
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    Private groundwater supply management as a response to flooding events: Perceptions of Irish well owners
    (Springer Nature Switzerland AG, 2021-03-31) de Andrade, Luisa A.; McDowell, Cillian P.; O'Dwyer, Jean; O'Neill, Eoin; Mooney, Simon; Hynds, Paul D.
    Over 720,000 people in the Republic of Ireland rely on private groundwater resources (i.e. private wells) for daily consumption, and as these extractions are unregulated, users are solely responsible for managing/mitigating contamination risks to their supplies. However, low levels of exposure to appropriate guidance on well water protection and ongoing maintenance are not uncommon, particularly regarding responses to sporadic environmental threats, such as significant flooding. Despite this, very little is known regarding the factors leading to (or inhibiting) preparedness among groundwater-reliant individuals in the context of health threats triggered by flooding events. Accordingly, the purpose of this study is to bridge this knowledge gap and explore current behaviours, knowledge, risk perception, and experience relating to this issue in the Irish context. This was attempted via a combination of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, including a nation-wide online survey with 405 Irish well owners and six localized focus group meetings. Results show the need to go beyond knowledge-based interventions, and use socio-hydrogeological and/or socio-epidemiological approaches to target risk perception and potential structural constraints as a mean to turn protective intentions into protective actions when dealing with adverse effects of sporadic natural events, particularly in a changing climate.