County Council publishes climate change plan

County Council publishes climate change plan

CORK County Council has published a 61-page climate change strategy, the first of its kind for the local authority.

The draft Climate Adaption Strategy document will be discussed at a hastily convened meeting of the council tomorrow to ensure it is put out for public consultation by Monday.

At a meeting in County Hall today, director of environment, Louis Duffy, said Government stipulations meant the document had to be sent for public consultation by July 15 in order to be ready for implementation by September.

The 61-page document is designed to mainstream the issue of climate change in local authority plans, policies and operations.

It includes:

The establishment of a Climate Action Steering Group;

Possible appointment of a Climate Action Officer within County Hall;

Develop and maintain a risk assessment for the activities of Cork County Council;

Build the capacity to respond effectively to extreme weather events;

Integrate climate action considerations into land-use planning policy;

Protect and enhance the natural environment and support biodiversity;

Raise awareness of the impact of climate change and the ways communities can address it.

County Mayor Christopher O’Sullivan said the document was the most important they will discuss in the lifetime of this council and urged members to have their say.

However, Fianna Fáil Councillor Seamus McGrath said he was concerned that councillors were not given enough time to consider the draft strategy and called for a full meeting to discuss the plan.

“The councillors have valid and worthy suggestions and it is important to get the draft document right,” he said.

Mr McGrath said that the strategy was compiled in a response to a 2015 Act of Oireachtas and it was regrettable that it had not been brought to the councillors sooner.

He said he would like to see more specific goals contained within the document.

Independent Councillor Marcia D’Alton said she was delighted to see the document, but it was a fundamental document and they needed more time to contribute.

Fianna Fáil Councillor Gearóid Murphy suggested the council look at transferring its fleet of vehicles to electric powered ones and said, from a glance, it would appear the plan is focusing on mitigation and adaption and not prevention of climate change.

Green Party Councillor Liam Quaide said that more needed to be done.

“We need to treat the crisis as a crisis. We have a moral obligation for a radical plan,” he said.

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