Councils to spearhead climate action reform

Longford Leader Reporter

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Minister of State Sean Canney T.D., Paddy Mahon, Longford County Council and  Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton, T.D.

Minister of State Sean Canney T.D., Paddy Mahon, Longford County Council and Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton, T.D.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton has begun setting in motion moves to compel local authorities to drive forward the State's climate action plans.

Mr Bruton, together with Minister of State Sean Canney signed a charter last week with all 34 local authorities, including Longford, committing them to driving forward meaningful climate action in their communities, through policies set out in the Climate Action Plan.
“The public sector leading by example is a central pillar of the Climate Action Plan,” said Mr Bruton.

“I am determined that government, both at central and local level, will lead the way in our response to the climate challenge.”

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The Climate Action Plan, published earlier this year, has long been heralded as the Government’s plan to ensure the State meets its 2030 climate commitments, putting Ireland to be on course to enjoy net-zero emissions by 2050.

The Charter's signing represents a key action in the plan and will ensure every local authority embeds decarbonisation, sustainable development and climate resilience into every aspect of the work they do.

“Local Authorities are uniquely placed to drive forward effective climate action at both the regional and local level,” added Mr Bruton.

“Given their pivotal role across the key sectors of planning, housing, transport and waste and their close relationship with the community, they have a crucial role in implementing the step change that is needed and influencing many more to address this challenge.”

His government colleague and Junior Minister, Sean Canney said the role of county councils was pivotal in ensuring Ireland stayed on course with meeting its carbon emissions targets.

“The key to achieving our Climate Action targets is to bring everyone with us. Local authorities are a focal point for our communities, villages, towns and cities and their support for this charter reflects the whole of society approach we need to take to transform our economy from brown to green,” he said.

The Charter commits local authorities to several actions that will ensure they play a key leadership role locally and nationally in delivering effective climate action. Among other commitments, all local authorities will:

  • Put in place a process for carbon proofing major decisions, programmes and projects on a systematic basis, including investments in transport and energy infrastructure.
  • Deliver a 50% improvement in energy efficiency by 2030
  • Ensure all suppliers provide information on their carbon footprint and steps they plan to reduce its impact.
  • Build local citizen engagement, particularly with young people
  • Partner & collaborate on climate action initiatives with local community groups, local enterprise and local schools and higher level institutions
  • Monitor, evaluate and report annually on the implementation of activities under the Charter.

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