Cork County Council to be first local authority to publish a Climate Adaptation Strategy

Cork County Council to be first local authority to publish a Climate Adaptation Strategy

Cork County Council is to become one of the first local authorities in the country to publish a Climate Adaptation Strategy, which will form a blueprint for more environmentally-friendly planning and services into the future.

The council will launch the draft strategy at a meeting in County Hall on July 8 and it will then go out for public consultation.

Louis Duffy, the council's environment director, said following this the final document will be completed for adoption in September.

In a report to councillors, Mr Duffy said the draft strategy will contain a proper understanding of the key risks and vulnerabilities of climate change.

He said it will advance the implementation of climate resilient adaptation actions in a planned and proactive manner and "ensure that climate adaptation considerations are mainstreamed into all plans and policies and integrated into all operations and functions of the local authority."

Mr Duffy said the draft strategy is based on extensive review, research and stakeholder engagement.

"Once adopted, the Climate Adaptation Strategy will be the main instrument to achieve the over-arching commitment by Cork County Council towards a low carbon, climate resilient and sustainable environment," Mr Duffy said.

He delivered the report to councillors in response to a motion from Green Party Cllr Liam Quaide, who had asked the council to establish a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency Committee.

Cllr Quaide proposed this be done as a matter of urgency and the committee should comprise of elected members and environmental experts.

He said the committee should meet within three months and its remit "should include prioritising sustainable transport and energy, along with flood protection and pollution mitigation measures".

He won widespread support from fellow councillors for the suggestion.

"We need to think outside the box," Cllr Seamus McGrath said.

Cllr John O'Sullivan added: "It is an emergency. As a dairy farmer close to the land I can see what he's saying is very relevant. There is abuse and overuse of chemicals."

However, it was decided to hold off on forming the committee until councillors get to read the Climate Adaptation Strategy.

They made the decision following advice from Mr Duffy who revealed the council is to appoint a new Environment and Climate Change SPC (Special Purposes Committee). He said external experts would be able to sit on it.

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