Waterford Council launches Climate Action Plan

. Climate action plan launch. Pictured with Cllr. Joe Conway, Mayor of the City and County of Waterford are Cian Gill, Climate Action Officer, Presentation Secondary School teacher Kellie Dempsey, Grainne Kennedy, Climate Action Coordinator with Presentation Secondary School 5th year students Ruby Walsh and Tarawat Murwat. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Waterford City and County Council launches Climate Action Plan

At February’s Plenary Council meeting, Waterford City and County Councillors voted to adopt the Local Area Climate Action Plan for Waterford 2024–2029.

This ambitious plan sets out the work that Waterford City and County Council will commit to over the next five years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations and in the wider city and county. The plan also provides a roadmap for the work the Local Authority will undertake in preparation for extreme weather events and changing weather patterns.

Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Joe Conway helped to launch the Local Area Climate Action Plan for Waterford, along with student ‘climate ambassadors’ from the Presentation Secondary School, who participated in the Council’s first Student Climate Conference last year.

. Climate action plan launch. Pictured with Cllr. Joe Conway, Mayor of the City and County of Waterford are Cian Gill, Climate Action Officer, Presentation Secondary School teacher Kellie Dempsey, Grainne Kennedy, Climate Action Coordinator with Presentation Secondary School 5th year students Ruby Walsh and Tarawat Murwat. Photograph: Patrick Browne
Climate action plan launch. Pictured with Cllr. Joe Conway, Mayor of the City and County of Waterford are Cian Gill, Climate Action Officer, Presentation Secondary School teacher Kellie Dempsey, Grainne Kennedy, Climate Action Coordinator with Presentation Secondary School 5th year students Ruby Walsh and Tarawat Murwat. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Mayor Conway said, “This plan clearly sets out the objectives for Waterford City and County Council to ensure Waterford becomes a low-carbon, sustainable, safe and healthy place to live and grow.  The onus is on all of us in Waterford City and County Council to make day-to-day changes, no matter how small, that will cumulatively protect our environment and biodiversity and enhance our health and well-being.”

Grainne Kennedy, Climate Action Officer with Waterford City and County Council added, “Taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to adapt to climate change will be part of everyone in the Council’s work. From the Roads Engineer designing drainage based on the changing weather patterns, to the Housing Officer upgrading existing homes and making them more energy efficient, to the Community Liaison Officer encouraging communities to consider climate adaptation and energy saving in their projects, we all have a part to play.

“Public opinion was crucial in the creation of this plan and to ensure that the public was happy with what was put forward, the Climate Action Team ran two consultations to collect people’s suggestions and held 23 community events across the city and county. These events included the County’s first Student Climate Conference, where young people from nine secondary schools in Waterford spent a day in City Hall workshopping and setting out what actions they wanted to see included in the Climate Action Plan.”

The plan is wide ranging looking at everything from buildings and infrastructure to parks and waste reduction.

07/03/2024. Climate action plan launch. Pictured with Cllr. Joe Conway, Mayor of the City and County of Waterford are Cian Gill, Climate Action Officer, Presentation Secondary School 5th year students Ruby Walsh and Tarawat Murwat and Grainne Kennedy, Climate Action Coordinator. Photograph: Patrick Browne
Climate action plan launch. Pictured with Cllr. Joe Conway, Mayor of the City and County of Waterford are Cian Gill, Climate Action Officer, Presentation Secondary School 5th year students Ruby Walsh and Tarawat Murwat and Grainne Kennedy, Climate Action Coordinator. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Some examples of actions set out in the plan relating to the County include:

Short term (by 2025): Provide training to all Council staff on how their work is impacted by Climate Change.

Medium term (by 2027): Replace fossil fuels with renewable fuel in Council fleet.

Long term (by 2029): Deliver over €1m worth of Community Climate Projects or deliver a 50% improvement in energy efficiency across Council buildings.

Some examples of actions set out in the plan relating to the city include:

Short term: Deliver a carpooling app for the city.

Medium term: Deliver a Rain Gardens project to reduce run off in flooding and to help the public to plant gardens that hold onto excess rain.

Long term: Work with partners to deliver a District Heating system for the city.

Councillors will be issued with an annual report to monitor progress and there will be dashboard that the public can access.  The completed plan is available to view on the Council website at https://waterfordcouncil.ie/services/environment/climate-action/ and physical copies will also be available at the City Hall on The Mall and from the Civic Offices in Dungarvan.