Date: 01 Sep 2022
Funding towards Local Authority Climate Action Officers announced.
In 2021 the national Climate Conversations run by the Department of Environment Climate and Communications engaged with over 4,700 people, collecting valuable information and gave us an insight into both community action and ambition.
Based on the outcomes from the climate conversations, it is clear citizens want to do more to step up local climate action. It is also clear from the conversations that communities require support for this local activation.
In response, the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications launched the Community Climate Action Programme in November 2021, which will see €60m from the Climate Action Fund invested in community climate action projects and initiatives, and capacity building over a period of three years.
The Programme has been developed under two strands addressing both direct climate action, and climate education and capacity building. An initial €30 million is being allocated over an 18-month period for two strands as follows:
A total of €24 million will be provided to local authorities to partner communities, within their areas of operation to build low carbon communities in a considered and structured way. The CCMA and the CAROs have been engaging with the Department of Environment Climate & Communications to develop this Strand of the Programme and a comprehensive framework and associated documents are being finalised and will set out how the Programme will operate in practice. This will be circulated to all local authorities shortly.
Strand 1- Action: Building Low Carbon Communities - €24 million
In addition, a total of €3 million is being provided by the Government’s Shared Island Fund to support cross-border and all-island community climate action initiatives as an integrated part of the Community Climate Action Programme. Strand 1a enables communities and LAs to run a cross-border project, working with counterparts in Northern Ireland.
Strand 1a: Shared Island Community Climate Action – €3 million
Strand 1a projects will address the same five themes as Strand 1 and must have a clear North/South basis, with a cross-border partnership approach and impact.
Separately, a total of €6m is being provided to Pobal and the Creative Ireland Programme to build community capacity to undertake and step-up climate action. The focus of this strand is on education directly leading to action as opposed to awareness education.
Strand 2 Education: Climate Education, Capacity Building and Learning by Doing – €6 million
On the basis that community/local authority partnerships will be key to the successful roll out of Strand 1 and Strand 1a of the Programme, the Department has agreed with the CCMA that the administrative costs allowed for under the fund can be assigned towards the resourcing a Community Climate Action Officer (Grade 6) in each local authority to oversee the Programme. The Department will provide at least the same sum for administrative purposes under Phase 2 of the Programme. This will ensure that each local authority will have funding to put towards a Community Climate Action Officer for a three-year period who will be engaged on a full-time basis in the delivery of the Community Climate Action Programme.
Local Authority Community Climate Action Officers
Local authorities are now engaging with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in respect of sanction for these posts in the normal way.