Climate change on the agenda at all Ireland council chief executive meeting

Climate change on the agenda at all Ireland council chief executive meeting

Fri 08 Oct 2021 by Carol Dunbar

Local authority chief executives from across Ireland met today in Kilkenny to discuss opportunities to tackle climate change by working in partnership on decarbonisation, green growth strategies and renewable energies.

Organised by Co-operation Ireland, the event was addressed by Northern Ireland Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots who reaffirmed his commitment to the climate issue.

Around 150 senior officers from local authorities across the island, plus senior civil servants, and other stakeholders, participated in the event hosted by Kilkenny County Council in Kilkenny Castle.

The Co-operation Ireland Local Authority Programme brings together The Society of Local Authority Chief Executives in Northern Ireland (SOLACE NI) and the County and City Management Association (CCMA) in Ireland to work together to share best practice and information on issues of importance to both jurisdictions on the island. (will swap order depending on outlet).

The Forum comprises 10 chief executives from local authorities across the island of Ireland.

Eirgrid CEO Mark Foley addresses the Climate Change Summit

Among the priorities outlined by the members is tackling climate change at a local level and the event heard how local authorities have a major role to play in terms of transformative solutions for their local communities, and the development of effective green growth strategies for their local areas. 

Kilkenny County Council Chief Executive Colette Byrne said, “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the local government sector currently, and as such it is vital that local authorities prioritise this now and going forward.

“National policies have established ambitious targets in terms of carbon neutrality and renewable energies; local authorities, like all other sectors, must play their part in achieving these targets.”

Derry City and Strabane District Council Chief Executive John Kelpie said, “Climate issues do not recognise national boundaries, we are facing the same challenges across the whole island.

“Sharing information and facilitating conversations on developments and actions to tackle climate change can only be helpful.

“As with all areas of local authority work there is value in learning from other local authorities and other jurisdictions to develop successful strategies for the future.”