Councils Climate Change Actions
In 2021, Kilkenny County Council achieved ISO 50001 accreditation for their energy use. The ISO 50001 certification is a global standard for energy use and energy consumption. It recognises Kilkenny County Council‘s commitment to continuously improve their energy performance.
Senior staff from all Council departments participate in the energy team. The energy team play a significant role in the management of energy across the organisation and the ISO 50001 standard will assist in the delivery of the 50% improvement in energy efficiency target over the next 10 years as set in the National Climate Action Plan.
To continuously improve, the council take on many tasks such as, tracking energy consumption, setting energy targets, undertaking energy audits and looking to increase energy efficiency.
Over the years, Kilkenny County Council have conducted various projects to improve their energy performance. One such project is the Public Lighting Energy Efficiency project where the council upgraded 11,000 public lights across the county and features as a SEAI case study https://www.seai.ie/case-studies/kilkenny-city-lighting-project/.
Kilkenny County Council Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2019 to 2024
Under the National Adaptation Framework Local Authorities were required to prepare and adopt a five-year Climate Adaptation Strategy by September 2019.
Kilkenny County Council’s strategy, sets out the following core objectives:
- Ensure that climate adaptation considerations are mainstreamed into all plans and policies and integrated into all operations and functions of Kilkenny County Council
- Ensure consideration and understanding of the key risks and vulnerabilities of climate change in the County
- Implementation of climate resilient actions in a planned and proactive manner.
The Strategy contains a total 95 individual actions under five Adaptation Action Headings: - Energy & Buildings, Flood Resilience, Resource Management, Transport and Nature & Communities.
Kilkenny’s Decarbonisation Zone
Ireland’s Climate Action Plan sets out an ambitious whole-of-society approach designed to enable Ireland to meet its EU targets of reducing carbon emissions by 30% between 2021 and 2030, and thereafter to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Action 165 of the Plan sets Local Authorities the challenge of identifying and developing Decarbonising Zones in each local authority in Ireland.
A Decarbonising Zone is a spatial area identified by the local authority, in which a range of climate mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity measures and action owners are identified to address local low carbon energy, greenhouse gas emissions and climate needs to contribute to national climate action targets.
A map of the proposed area has been sent to the Department of the Environment and Kilkenny County Council are waiting for approval of the plan. The area, to the south west of the city, is roughly bounded by the Callan Road (from Seville Lodge) through to College Road, New Street, Parnell Street and Blackmill Street and on to the Kennyswell Road, Circular Road and Kilmanagh Road and the western boundary of the new Breaghagh Valley neighbourhood. The covers an area of about 3 sq. km and includes mature neighbourhoods as well as an area earmarked for development. The population of the potential Decarbonised Zone is currently about 4,000 and it is anticipated that there will be up to 7,000 residents living there by 2030.
The Councils Environmental Awareness Office runs a variety of programmes annually which ties into the Councils ambition to lower its impact on climate change both within the organisation and within local communities. Working within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals, themed projects are rolled out via the Council’s Waste Prevention programme. Recent projects include the provision of home energy kits to all library branches, which are available to borrow to empower householders to improve energy efficiencies in the home. Another recent project was the collaborative stop food waste outdoor dining campaign with the EPA and 10 other Local Authorities to eliminate food waste from summer outdoor entertaining activities. A fact often overlooked is that around a third of all food produced is lost or wasted contributes between 8 and 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Irish households produce over 250,000 tonnes of food waste per year, at a cost of €700 per household.
There are a number of grants available for homeowners, businesses, and community groups to help with improving energy efficiency or the installing of renewable energy technologies. Kilkenny is fortunate to have 3cea based locally who area non-profit, independent energy agency working primarily in Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford. With a voluntary Board of Directors drawn from the private, public and community sectors, it is committed to supporting every energy user in using energy more efficiently, monitoring energy use and towards a greater choice of renewable energy sources.
For more information on their services go to www.3cea.ie.