Cork City Climate Action Charter 2019

Local Authority Sector leading by example

The public sector, which includes the Local Authorities, leading by example is a central pillar of the ‘Climate Action Plan 2019 – to tackle climate breakdown’. This Plan will ensure we meet our 2030 climate commitments, putting us on a trajectory to be net-zero emissions by 2050. The Climate Action Charter is a key action in the Plan and will ensure every local authority embeds decarbonisation, sustainable development and climate resilience into every aspect of the work they do.  Local Authorities are uniquely placed to drive forward effective climate action at both the regional and local level. Given their pivotal role across the key sectors of planning, housing, transport and waste and their close relationship with the community, they have a crucial role in implementing the step change that is needed and influencing many more to address this challenge. Local authorities are a focal point for our communities, villages, towns and cities and their support for this charter reflects the whole of society approach we need to take to transform our economy from brown to green.

The Charter commits Local Authorities to several actions that will ensure that they play a key leadership role locally and nationally in delivering effective climate action.  Among other commitments, all local authorities will: 

  • Put in place a process for carbon proofing major decisions, programmes and projects on a systematic basis, including investments in transport and energy infrastructure
  • Deliver a 50% improvement in energy efficiency by 2030
  • Ensure all suppliers provide information on their carbon footprint and steps they plan to reduce its impact
  • Build local citizen engagement, particularly with young people
  • Partner & collaborate on climate action initiatives with local community groups, local enterprise and local schools and higher level institutions
  • Monitor, evaluate and report annually on the implementation of activities under the Charter

The Local Authorities, through their various roles, including spatial planning, forward planning and engagement with communities through the Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) and the Public Participation Networks (PPNs) are ideally placed to help deliver effective Climate Action in our communities.

Local authorities have huge ambitions for what we can achieve in the area of climate action. We are already making significant progress; councils around the country are cutting the carbon footprint of our internal operations, making our housing stock more energy efficient, prioritising climate considerations in development planning and actively engaging our communities on climate issues. With sufficient support, we can do even more and provide the on-the-ground leadership needed to make Ireland a global leader in climate action. The Local Authority Climate Action Charter is the blueprint for future progress in creating an Ireland that is sustainable for future generations, and councils around the country are ready to take the lead in this vital work.