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Council introduces Climate Change Emergency Pledge and Adaptation Plan

09 July 2020

Derry City and Strabane District Council have become the first council area in Northern Ireland to adopt a Climate Change Adaptation Plan. Council also committed to wider climate action through a Climate Change Emergency Pledge.

Members of Council's Environment and Regeneration Committee agreed on the adoption of the plan and pledge on Wednesday.

Council are the lead partner in the CLIMATE project (Collaborative Learning Initiative Managing and Adapting to the Environment) which is part funded by the ERDF Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme 2014-2020. Through the project, a comprehensive Climate Change Adaptation Plan has been produced, which will be delivered by a supporting Action Plan.

Members of Council's Environment and Regeneration Committee heard how the delivery of the plan will ensure the Council is prepared for and resilient to the effects of climate change. The aims of the Adaptation Plan are to increase capacity to respond to climate change; to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change across the City & District; and to lead by example and work collaboratively to ensure resilience and deliver climate adaptation.

The Adaptation Action Plan will be delivered by the relevant teams across Council and implementation will be monitored by the All-Party Climate Adaptation Working Group, which was established in June 2019 to discuss and debate climate change issues globally, regionally and locally.

The Climate Change Emergency Pledge outlines the Council's climate action commitments, including a shift to net zero greenhouse gas emissions across the city and district by 2045. The Pledge and accompanying action plan includes working across Council to reduce emissions and working with other relevant agencies and stakeholders to ensure the Derry City and Strabane District Council area achieves net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, and the need to adapt to climate change impacts now and in the future.

Alderman Maurice Devenney, Chair of the Environment and Regeneration Committee, said the adoption of the pledge and adaptation plan was a significant step forward.

"Climate change is a prevalent issue, and as a Council we have been proactive in tackling it.

"This Climate Change Adaptation Plan is informative, innovative and robust in setting out the actions we will take to reduce the threat of climate change to Council, and beyond.

"Our Climate Change Emergency Pledge also highlights our commitments both in the short and long term, and it will build on the work that Council have already been carrying out to address climate change.

"This is a significant step, and I'm glad that as a Council we are leading the way in tackling climate change."

Members also heard that Council have already taken action since declaring a climate emergency last year.

Council have been building on green infrastructure within the district, in line with the Green Infrastructure Plan, through the North West Greenway project and development of green, open space in urban centres.

Council also teamed up with nursing students from Ulster University to increase awareness of the role healthcare professionals have in helping communities prepare for the impact of storms, heatwaves and flooding due to climate change.

A copy of the report and of the Climate Change Emergency Pledge and Climate Adaptation Plan can be viewed at http://meetings.derrycityandstrabanedistrict.com/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=187&MId=1594&Ver=4

The meeting was broadcast live on Council's YouTube channel and is available for viewing at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbGxNiLfdgs_ZR2CBl0msvA

For more information on Council's work regarding climate change, visit https://www.derrystrabane.com/climate