Plan will deliver cleaner air, warmer homes, better-connected communities, and a more sustainable economy
Minister Bruton wants to hear from local communities
The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton T.D. will today (Friday the 21st of June) travel to Cork to host the first in a series of town hall meetings on the Climate Action Plan.
The Climate Action Plan, which was published by Minister Bruton earlier this week, sets out over 180 actions, together with hundreds of sub-actions, that need to be taken at a time when the warning signs are growing, and the time for taking action is rapidly reducing.
Minister Bruton said,
"Every generation wants to leave the world in a better place than they found it for their children. We have a short window of opportunity to act. We must act now and leave a better, healthier, more sustainable Ireland for future generations. This Plan provides our way forward."
The Plan uses the same model as the Action Plan for Jobs, which was also spear-headed by Minister Richard Bruton and was instrumental in restoring Ireland's economy. Consultation and a rolling review of the actions in the plan is crucial to it's success.
Today, the Minister will host the first in a series of nationwide consultative meetings in Cork, to explain the approach, hear views and take on ideas. A Climate Action Plan 2020 will be published next year which will also take into account all consultation that takes place.
Cork has seen first-hand how rising greenhouse gas emissions have negatively affected all of us in our daily lives. In recent years extreme weather events such as the recent flooding devastated large parts of Cork City and County destroying homes, businesses and important infrastructure. The farming community of rural Cork have also experienced fodder shortages as a result of further extreme weather conditions of drought and heavy snow in recent years.
The Climate Action Plan, which has actions in every sector, including energy, enterprise, housing, heating, transport, agriculture, waste and the public sector, identifies how Ireland will achieve its 2030 targets for carbon emissions, and puts us on a trajectory to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
An Tánaiste, Simon Coveney T.D. will address the meeting this evening, said:
"Leading on climate change internationally will enhance Ireland's ability to influence issues of fundamental important to us. This all-of-government plan sets out a pathway to meet that ambition. As Minister for Foreign Affairs, I am making sure that we place climate at the heart of our development aid programme across the world, helping those most impacted by climate change and assisting vulnerable small island development developing states."
Cork already has strong foundations to build on with – 27 sustainable energy community groups already established. Last year over 500 homes availed of the warmer homes scheme amounting to over €3.2m investment in homes in Cork and many others availed of grants to deep retrofit their homes and businesses and upgrade to electric vehicles. All of these choices taken by the people of Cork collectively amount to significant change to our environment. But people must ask can I do more.
Minister Bruton said
"I'm looking forward to tonight's discussion. The transformation that is required will require every community in the country to make changes and take on the challenge. Tonight's meeting will be the first in a series of town halls across the country."