New Climate Action plan: Minister Bruton came to Tait House Community Enterprise to discuss how we can take action locally and globally on climate action on Friday, September 6, 2019. Pictured is Cllr Jerry O Dea, Chairperson of Tait House Community Enterprise, Mary Frances Rochford, EPA, Tracey Lynch, CEO Tait House, John Randles, SEAI, Minister Richard Bruton, Minister of Environment, Helen O Donnell, Limerick Tidy Towns and Trevor Donnellan, TEAGASC. Picture: Richard Lynch/ilovelimerick.
New Climate Action Plan 2030 launched by Minister Richard Bruton
By Kate Devaney
Minister Richard Bruton was joined by a panel of officials to discuss with the public the new Climate Action Plan for 2030 in Tait House Community Enterprise on Friday, September 6.
The Climate Action Plan that has been launched by the Government is to address the huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions since the improvement of our economy and aims to reduce waste and fossil fuel consumption by 2030.
— #LimerickTilliDie (@ilovelimerick) September 6, 2019
The discussion regarding this new plan aimed to personally address the public on their concerns for the environment and local area, along with discussing how we can take action both locally and globally. The panel was made up of John Randles from SEAI, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton, Mary Frances Richard from the EPA and Trevor Donnellan from TEAGASC. Community activist Helen O’ Donnell, Chairperson of Limerick Tidy Towns acted as adjudicator.
Richard Bruton, Minister for Communications, Climate Action, and Environment, said, “We’ve just put in place a climate action plan which is the first time we have a coherent government plan with a strong implementation”.
“This will only be achieved in communities on the ground, working together and finding ways,” he added.
Some of the communities present were local farmers, members from the Irish Farmer’s Association, members from the Limerick Tidy Towns organisation, local councillors, and members of Limerick Against Pollution (LAP).
Some of the concerns that were raised by the public were the potential danger posed by the Irish Cement industry to our air quality and health, the lack of environmental education in third-level institutes, the huge consumption of packaging and subsequent waste in the country, the complicated and costly process of applying for solar panels and much more.
Also at the event were local secondary schools and their green school committees, such as St.Munchins college, Mungret Community College and Gael Cholaiste Luimnigh.
Young student Saoirse from Gael Cholaiste bravely spoke at the event and addressed the Minister, saying, “This climate report is welcome however it is not radical enough. What are you going to do when this plan fails?”.
This was followed by a second event in which Minister Richard Bruton went to the Georgian House at 2 pm for the launch of the +CityxChange EU programme.
+CityxChange is an EU Horizon 2020 project lead by Limerick City and County Council and the city of Trondheim in Norway into looking at ways to improve the energy performance of old historic buildings and adapting to the new clean energy market, thus improving the economic and urban performance of the historic areas. The project ties into the goals of the government’s Climate Action Plan.
They aim to provide better access to information, education, and skills, achieve universal access to broadband and real-time data and to build smart homes and buildings.
Parts of Georgian Limerick have been chosen to pilot this new climate change initiative about how old buildings can be upgraded to produce more energy than they consume.
Limerick city along with Trondheim in Norway are the two cities chosen to lead the new +CityxChange programme which is designed to show the rest of Europe how to dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of urban areas.
Five Georgian properties in Limerick city centre have been selected to become a testbed for data collection and a range of new technologies designed to transform the city into a positive energy city centre where it creates more electricity than it uses.
The five Georgian buildings selected include two businesses on O’Connell street, the city’s GPO, the Youth Service building on Glentworth Street, and the new state of the art Gardens International building on Henry street, which has already been constructed to LEED Gold standard efficiency, one of the leading energy standards in the world.
The 4 older buildings in the scheme will be retrofitted and will have new technologies installed like heat pumps and PV roof panels, energy storage solutions and electric cars.
An important part of the programme will be data harvesting, about energy usage and consumption which will be analysed over the period of the pilot. It’s intended that the cluster of buildings will become net energy producers and not just consumers.
The programme will also spearhead new energy generation innovations, a new tidal turbine, developed by Limerick company Gkinetic, will be placed in the River Shannon nearby to harness the water power of the river to generate positive energy for the pilot building cluster.
Limerick will become the example of how to transition from the traditional energy maker of large and few energy generators especially harmful to the environment to the new model of many micro-generators of clean energy
The project has received funding from the European Union to rise in 2020 and has teamed up with the Limerick Post Office and the ESB as it’s sponsors.
For more information on the Climate Action Plan, click here.
For more stories on Climate Action around Limerick, click here.
Pictures: Richard Lynch/ilovelimerick.
Pictures: Bruna Vaz Mattos/ ilovelimerick