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Carbon Emissions & Energy Efficiencies

Strategic Goal 2: Achieve our Carbon Emission and Energy Efficiency Targets for 2030 and 2050

This goal will ensure that local authorities adhere to carbon budgets and collaborate as a sector to acheive their 2030 and 2050 targets.

Key Objectives

  1. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our housing, offices, infrastructure and transport fleet in line with national 2030 and 2050 targets
  2. Increase the proportion of green procurement so we can measure, manage and reduce emissions from the production, transportation and disposal of goods and services procured
  3. Develop investment strategies for transformative decarbonisation projects. These investment strategies will focus on achieving the maximum levels of emissions reduction.

Collectively, Irish Local Authorities have a large number of buildings such as offices, housing, depots and libraries, vehicle fleets and land such as parks and sports grounds to manage and therefore we have an important role in reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy efficiency.

Local Authorities are expected to achieve absolute greenhouse gas emission reductions while at the same time delivering more service to more people with increasing demands.

Local Authorities are acutely aware that decisions we make today will determine how cost effectively we can achieve our climate targets. We are also aware that if we do not decarbonise now, we may be locked into more expensive and carbon intensive heating and energy systems that will weaken our capacity to deliver essential services.
Because of this, Local Authorities are already taking actions to reduce their own carbon emissions and working with, stakeholders, partners, suppliers and local communities to tackle the impact of climate change on their local area.

These projects include increasing the energy efficiency of buildings and transport fleets as well as influencing emissions through the retrofitting of social housing, the delivery services, procurement of goods and services (e.g. low-carbon products, ultra-low emission vehicles, energy efficiency and low-carbon heat in buildings) and enabling action throughout our communities.
Local authorities have a statutory obligation to report our energy and carbon performance via the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and we will also be investing in transformative decarbonisation projects and increasing the proportion of green procurement so we can measure, manage and reduce emissions from the production, transportation and disposal of goods and services procured.

Social Housing Retrofit
One of the most ambitious initiatives for any sector under the Climate Action Plan is the requirement for the local authority sector to retrofit their housing stock to bring dwellings more than 40 years old (30% of the social housing stock) to a B2 equivalent BER.

Approximately 135,000 houses were in local authority ownership at year-end 2018, of which 30% will require upgrade to B2 Building Energy Rating (BER) (Government of Ireland, 2019). This equates to retrofitting of approximately 40,500 social houses by the sector. Assuming a constant rate of social housing retrofits, over 4,000 social houses will be retrofitted by local authorities annually to 2030.
This will be managed by the housing departments within each local authority and be supported by the Energy Team and external organisations such as Energy Agencies.

The local authority retrofit programme can also be the catalyst for community-based projects and stimulate aggregation and bundling of privately owned residential stock and other social housing to provide a core for large-scale projects, including energy poor homes.

These area-based retrofit programmes would take advantage of critical mass, ensure economies of scale and make greater use of non-Exchequer funds. They will also generate local employment opportunities and build the confidence of supply chains, which will need to upsize to meet the national ambition of decarbonising our built environment.
Visit Climate Action - Mitigation in our Knowledge Hub and our Case Studies section to see examples of how Local Authorities achieve their carbon emission and energy efficiency targets for 2030 and 2050.