Councillors from all areas of Fingal and all parties have emphasised the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Fingal and adapting to climate change. We included relevant objectives in the draft Development Plan which was on display earlier this year and had good in depth discussions at the Planning Strategic Policy Committee.
At the July meeting the Council decided unanimously to join the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy and to prepare a common Climate Change Strategy together with Dublin City, South Dublin, and Dún Laoghaire- Rathdown.
Details are in the report approved by the Council below:
COMHAIRLE CONTAE FHINE GALL FINGAL COUNTY COUNCIL MONDAY, 11th July 2016
Item No. 19
Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy
The Climate Action and Low Carbon Act 2015 was enacted in December 2015. The purpose of the Act is to provide a statutory basis for the national objective of transition to a low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050. In December last this was given added political momentum when 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal at the Paris Climate Conference (COP21).
Local authorities are now required to develop local adaptation strategies to help address the impacts of climate change. In this regard the 4 Dublin Local Authorities have agreed that there is significant merit in the 4 authorities taking a collective regional approach to the issue. Initial work has commenced, with the assistance of the City Of Dublin Energy Management Agency (CODEMA), on developing a common Climate Change Strategy for the 4 Dublin Authorities supported by Mitigation & Adaptation Plans. It is recognised that the Mitigation & Adaptation Plans may have Actions that are not relevant to all authorities and this can be reflected in a number of ways in final documents.
Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy
The Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy brings together local and regional authorities voluntarily committing to implementing the EU’s climate and energy objectives on their territory. The Covenant is supported by the European Commission.
The Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is open to all local authorities democratically constituted with elected representatives, whatever their size and whatever the stage of implementation of their energy and climate policies. There are over 6,800 signatories at present. Councils in Ireland who are already signatories are Dublin, South Dublin, Carlow, Cork County, Kerry, Tipperary and Waterford.
Signatories commit to:-
- At least 40% lower CO2 (and possibly other greenhouse gas) emissions by 2030 through improved energy efficiency measures and greater use of renewable energy sources.
- Enhanced resilience to the impacts of climate change.
- Increased cooperation with fellow local and regional authorities within the EU and beyond to improve access to secure, sustainable and affordable energy.
To translate these commitments into action, signatories undertake to fulfil the following step-by-step approach:-
- Carry out a Baseline Emissions Inventory and a Climate Change Risk and Vulnerability Assessment.
- Submit a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan within two years following the above date of the municipal council decision.
- Report progress at least every second year following the submission of the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan for evaluation, monitoring and verification purposes.
Benefits of being a signatory include:-
- Formal expression of political support for the implementation of the EU’s climate and energy objectives.
- Higher recognition and visibility for Council’s actions.
- Credible commitments through progress review and monitoring.
- Better financial opportunities for local climate and energy projects.
- Innovative ways to network, exchange experiences and build capacity through regular events, twinnings, webinars or online discussions
- Practical support (helpdesk), guidance material and tools
- Enhanced cooperation and support from national and subnational authorities.
An Explanatory Leaflet on the Covenant is attached. Further more detailed information can be got at:- http://www.covenantofmayors.eu/index_en.html
It is recommended that Fingal becomes a signatory to the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy. It is not considered that there will be a significant additional financial commitment over and above our existing obligations under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Act 2015.