Cork County Council has recognised the importance of achieving the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient, and environmentally sustainable society by 2050. Cork County Council’s draft Climate Adaptation Strategy highlights a series of actions that the local authority proposes to undertake to adapt to existing and future climate risks facing the county. In addition, the recently published all-of-government Climate Action Plan has brought greater responsibilities and challenges to the local authority sector, particularly in the area of climate change mitigation.
In recognition of the demands facing Cork County Council to achieve its climate adaptation and mitigation targets, the Chief Executive has decided to develop two individual action plans to guide Council operations in the areas of climate action and biodiversity.
The development and implementation of the action plans will be led by a dedicated focus group (a sub-committee of the senior management team) and chaired by the Chief Executive. A working group will also be established, which will be chaired by a divisional manager. This Working Group will include Environment, Roads and Municipal Districts, with input from other directorates as required. These plans will run parallel to the Council’s Climate Adaptation Strategy. Together, these will form the basis of dealing with climate change mitigation within the organisation.
The aims of the initiative are to:
- Drive behavioural change across the organisation by embedding climate action into corporate governance, daily working practices, systems and projects.
- Develop a Climate Change Operational Action Plan focusing on climate change mitigation projects in the following operational activities and business areas:
- infrastructure (buildings, fleet, etc.);
- everyday activities (systems and processes);
- procurement and contracts; and,
- impacts on stakeholders and partners, e.g., how Cork County Council proposes to champion best practice in climate change mitigation and biodiversity across communities and other stakeholders.
- Develop a Biodiversity Operational Action Plan to run parallel to and complement the actions set out in the Climate Adaptation Strategy.
Benefits of Solution
It is envisaged that this innovative approach to climate action will ensure continued advancement towards the 2050 public sector targets to achieve a low-carbon and climate-resilient society.
The implementation of actions set out in Cork County Council’s draft Climate Adaptation Strategy, and those outlined in both the proposed Climate Change Plan and Biodiversity Operational Plan, will assist Cork County Council in embedding climate action measures into its frontline operations, and set out realistic and achievable targets and timelines for delivery.