Local Authority finance falls under the remit of the Department for Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the Local Authorities themselves. I have had no engagement with Minister Donohoe on Local Climate Bonds.
However, since 2018, my Department has made a five year financial commitment totaling €10 million to establish and operate four Climate Action Regional Offices (CAROs). My Department engages with the four CAROs on a regular basis, in particular through participation in the National Local Authority Climate Action Steering Group. Under the National Adaptation Framework, each Local Authority has developed a Local Adaptation Strategy. These strategies are now being implemented, and each CARO is working with the Local Authorities in its region to both facilitate and monitor implementation of the local climate adaptation actions within the strategies.
The Climate Action and Low Carbon (Amendment) Act, 2021, further strengthens the role of Local Authorities in climate action. It sets out legislative requirements for each Local Authority to prepare a Climate Action Plan, which will include both mitigation and adaptation measures and be updated every five years. These plans will have to be consistent with national climate plans and strategies, and Local Authorities will have to liaise with each other in the preparation of these plans.
To build the necessary capacity, my Department is also providing funding and engaging with the CAROs in relation to the implementation of a new Local Authority climate action training programme. This programme is increasing knowledge of climate change and the need for action among all Local Authority staff, and will facilitate both climate mitigation and adaptation at local level.
Funding the transition to a low carbon economy at a national and local level will be greatly assisted by the €165 billion in capital funding to 2030 recently agreed by Government as part of the National Development Plan (NDP) Review. In addition, other funding through the Climate Action Fund and the Just Transition Fund is also being made available.