The strategy focuses on cutting emissions and building climate resilience in council buildings, public spaces and infrastructure.
It follows the passing of a Notice of Motion on Climate Change by the local authority in 2019.
Since then, the council has been working to reduce its impact on climate and nature, culminating in the production of the action plan.
The plan has been guided by a number of international, national, regional and local pieces of legislation, agreements and policies.
It has been developed with extensive collaboration between key council service areas and external stakeholders, including Sustainable NI.
Illustrating the current and projected impacts of climate change throughout the borough, the new plan looks at proposals to tackle these effects, meet the requirements within the Climate Change Act (Northern Ireland) 2022 and deliver on the commitments in the council’s Climate and Sustainability Policy.
Some of the aims outlined in the plan include:
– 30 percent reduction in council operation emissions by 2030;
– Decarbonise small vehicles in Council fleets by 2030;
– Council operation emissions to net zero by 2040;
– Supporting the borough to net zero by 2050;
– Climate resilience in council buildings, public spaces and infrastructure.
The plan sets out six key themes through which 97 actions will be delivered over the next five years.
The themes include Good Governance and Community Leadership; Our Environment; Economy; Transport; Resource Management, and Buildings and Energy.
As part of council’s commitment to these targets, they have put in place a number of structures to embed climate action throughout the organisation.
These groups within the council meet regularly to agree targets, implement actions and review progress on climate delivery.
In addition to considering energy efficiency, renewable technologies and agile working, the council will also review their fleets, fuel usage and waste management and will embed sustainable practices.
The local authority will also influence and support the wider borough through the delivery of climate education, training, and opportunities for grant funding, as well as supporting the MEA business sector through the development of a clean tech sector and movement towards a low carbon, circular economy.