Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2205)

Jack Chambers


2205. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the progress made in extending low-carbon initiatives to towns and villages; the number of local authorities which have established decarbonising zones; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32073/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I published the Climate Action Plan 2019 on 17 June. The plan sets out 183 actions which, for the first time, show how Ireland can reach its 2030 targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and also put Ireland on the right trajectory towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

This Plan will be a living document, which will monitor performance and progress on agreed indicators, as well as facilitating feedback, learning and problem-solving as it evolves from year to year. A continuing schedule of regional consultative fora under the National Dialogue on Climate Action will support this process.

The Plan also envisages a coordinated step-up in the activities of key bodies to support and motivate practical action at the local authority and community levels, including leveraging existing and developing new networks and clustering initiatives, using the National Dialogue on Climate Action and Local Authority structures. The Climate Action Regional Offices will also lead a step-up in climate action within Local Authorities. Key actions envisaged under the Plan include:

- supporting the expansion in the Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC) from 256 now to 500 by 2020, and 1500 by 2030;

- supporting the development of Local Authority climate action leadership and capacities;

- developing exemplar decarbonisation projects in each Local Authority area;

- expanding the use of tools such as www.sustainabletoolkit.ie developed by the EPA and www.wheel.ie;

- providing improved training and support initiatives to allow community and voluntary groups enhance their capacity and understanding in the area of climate action; and

- continued support for strengthening the participation of civil society organisations in Public Participation Networks at the local level.