Minister Joe O’Brien Welcomes €27 Million for Community Climate Action Announcement
3rd February, 2023
Minister Joe O’Brien TD welcomed the announcement of funding of €24 million for Local Authorities to support and build low carbon communities across the country. A further €3 million is being provided to support cross-border and all-island community climate action initiatives.
This funding is part of the Community Climate Action Programme, which supports projects and initiatives that facilitate community climate action through education, capacity building and learning by doing.
The programme was launched by the Green Party’s Minister Eamon Ryan. This programme is designed to resource Local Authorities to work in partnership with communities. Specifically, the programme supports direct engagement with communities to promote and assist in the scale up of community climate action.
The 2023 Climate Action Plan highlights how communities can benefit from the low carbon transition. This means warmer, more efficient homes; better travel options; more liveable towns and cities; more sustainable consumer choices; and a better environment for future generations. This next strand of the Community Climate Action Programme empowers communities to realise these benefits.
Welcoming the launch of the programme, Joe O’Brien TD said:
“This is great news for areas like Fingal as my Green Party colleagues and I have developed a number of green initiatives and funding like this programme will help us to continue to do so over the coming years and reach the climate goals we as part of this Government have set. All areas of Fingal will benefit and there are a number of exciting green projects we are working on.”
Green programmes in Fingal that have completed or are being developed are the Active Travel and eBike Share Schemes, the cycle and greenways network that will make Fingal more accessible and the Green Flag projects, like that in Ardgillan Demesne in Balbriggan.
There are two strands in this phase that address direct climate action, and climate education and capacity building:
- Strand 1 requires the appointment of dedicated Community Climate Action Officers (CCAO) in Local Authorities to guide and support communities from the very start. Community projects eligible for this guidance and potential funding will address the following five themes:
- food and waste;
- shopping and recycling; and
- local climate and environmental action.
- Strand 1a — ‘Shared Island Community Climate Action’ — funded by the Shared Island Fund, will address the same five themes as strand 1 and have a clear North/South basis, with a cross-border partnership approach and impact. This will enable communities and Local Authorities to propose a cross-border project in partnership with organisations in Northern Ireland. At least 50% of awarded funding will be for project delivery in Northern Ireland.
Speaking about the launch, Minister Ryan said:
“I am delighted to be able to announce these latest strands of the Community Climate Action Plan. Delivering on our climate ambition will only work if we all come together in a strengthened social contract for climate action, working towards real solutions that work for people, that work for communities, and that are meaningful, inclusive, fair and accessible.
“I hope to see project proposals from partnerships from right across the island, including on nature recovery networks, sustainable farming, Just Transition and peatland restoration.
“This is part of how the Government is working in practical ways with all communities on the island for a sustainable, shared future.”
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
Department of the Environment, Climate and Communication’s Climate Action Fund:
The Climate Action Fund was established on a statutory basis in 2020 to provide support for projects, initiatives and research that contribute to the achievement of Ireland’s climate and energy targets. The fund also supports projects and initiatives in regions of the State, and within sectors of the economy, impacted by the transition to a low carbon economy. The fund is resourced mainly from proceeds from the levy paid to the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) in respect of relevant disposals of petroleum products, after the funding requirements of NORA have been met.
Further information on the Climate Action Fund is available at the following link: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/de5d3-climate-action-fund/.
Shared Island Fund
The Shared Island Fund provides ring-fenced resourcing to enable the delivery of the Government’s all-island investment commitments under the Programme for Government and the National Development Plan.
In July 2022, the Government allocated €3 million from the Fund for Shared Island Community Climate Action. This will support cross-border or all-island projects that have a clear North/South basis and contribute to climate and energy targets on the island of Ireland.
Projects will include at least one partner in Northern Ireland and at least 50% of awarded funding will be for project delivery in Northern Ireland.
Further information on the Government’s Shared Island Initiative and Fund is available at: www.gov.ie/sharedisland .
Climate Action Plan 2023
The Climate Action Plan 2023, launched in December 2022, is the second annual update of its kind and the first to be prepared under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021. It also follows on from the introduction, in 2022, of economy-wide carbon budgets and sectoral emissions ceilings.
The plan details actions across a number of areas, including six vital, high-impact sectors:
- powering renewables;
- building better;
- transforming how we travel;
- making family farms more sustainable;
- greening business and enterprise; and
- changing our land use.