Meath County Council's chief executive officer, Jackie Maguire, launches the Climate Action Strategy.

Meath sets up climate action forum

Meath County Council recently became one of the first counties to launch a Climate Action Strategy.

Local authorities and government sectors had obligations to prepare Adaption Plans by 30th September, which set out actions to adapt to the consequences of climate change.

"The need to address climate change is becoming more urgent, the consequences are visible across the globe with scientists predicting increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as Hurricane Dorian," the council stated.

"Ireland, and indeed County Meath, is not immune from such events, most recently Storms Emma and Ophelia caused severe disruption across the country."

The Climate Action Strategy sets out over 150 actions and addresses both adaptation and mitigation, covering eight thematic areas.  Climate Action Roadshows are visiting each municipal district.  The roadshows will showcase local energy suppliers, electric vehicles, climate friendly and sustainable products and services and local climate champions.  

The council message is twofold; firstly ‘buy local’ is one of the best actions you can take to support climate action, as well as supporting local jobs and economy and secondly; every action counts, no matter how small, collectively we can make a big change.  

Meath County Council declared a "Biodiversity and Climate Emergency" at the July Council.  In response to the emergency situation climate action training was organised for elected members with Raoul Empey from Sustaineo. Empey trained under Al Gore and the interactive training resulted in many ideas being generated on how climate change can be addressed at a local level.  It is believed Meath are the first county to provide such training.  One of the ideas that has been acted upon is the formation of a Climate Action Forum for elected members, and the inaugural meeting took place in August with Cllr David Gilroy elected as chairperson.

This forum will support the Climate Action Team’s work with citizen engagement and will no doubt generate many ideas to promote climate action at a grass roots level and will enhance the two way climate conversation between the local authority and citizens.

"Our climate action journey has started and it will be a long journey with many challenges, however, each challenge brings opportunities, to make Meath a climate ready county which attracts growth and jobs and promotes healthy lifestyles for all, it provides opportunities for innovation and creative solutions to climate change problems," a council spokesperson stated.