Fingal County Council last night presented its third annual progress report on the Climate Change Action Plan to Fingal Councillors.
The Plan sets out four key targets and 133 actions that the Council will undertake in the areas of energy & buildings, transport, flood resilience, nature-based solutions and resource management. All departments of Fingal County Council are responsible for the successful rollout of actions within the Climate Change Action Plan. The Climate Change Action Plan 2019-2024 (CCAP) was launched in 2019 following collaboration with the Dublin Local Authorities in partnership with the City of Dublin Energy Management Agency (Codema) and Dublin’s Climate Action Regional Office (CARO), and a progress report is presented annually.
Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly says regular reporting on progress is key to trust and transparency: ‘The Climate Action team have brought forward the 2022 progress report this week and I am happy to confirm significant strides have been made on several climate action projects across the Council. Our teams continue to collaborate and prioritise positive climate action as an integral element in all the work we do whether that be construction, roads, Active Travel, community, or other operations. We are now entering the fourth year of the Climate Change Action Plan and I look forward to seeing further developments in 2023.’ Director of Environment, Climate Action and Active Travel, David Storey says ‘This report demonstrates the commitment Fingal County Council has shown in the first three years of the Climate Change Action Plan, through a collaborative effort across all Departments. We have made significant progress on climate actions. One focus over the coming year will be to continue the mainstreaming of climate action across all functions and services, led by the steering group and senior teams. The Council also aims to increase the number of staff working directly in the area of climate action, and to further progress a number of studies including the potential for District Heating within the county, the development of a Decarbonising Zone, and the facilitation of electric vehicle charge point roll out.’ The 2022 progress report reveals that Fingal County Council is currently taking action on 111 of the 133 items laid out in the 5-year Climate Change Action Plan, with a further 19 actions completed and just 3 yet to be progressed. Some of the actions already taken or completed include a review of energy efficiency across the organisation, conversion of public lighting to climate friendly LED lighting and significant advances with retrofitting of council social housing with 91 homes completed in 2022 and a further 150 to be completed in the coming 12 months.
The Climate Change Action Plan also covers sustainable transport and the report shows progression of the Safe Routes to School programme across the county as well as the development of an Active Travel Strategy for Fingal and the appointment of two full time Walking and Cycling officers to promote and enable transition to Active Travel by the public. 476 bike parking spaces are now provided by Fingal County Council with plans for more in 2023 and uptake of the Bleeper and Tier bike sharing schemes continues to improve with more than 20,000 journeys completed in Fingal by bike share in 2022.
Progress on Flood Resilience was also reported with sustainable urban drainage (SuDs) being implemented in local authority projects and surface water management plans now being undertaken as part of all Local Area Plans (LAPs).
Nature based solutions including the Forest of Fingal project and the rehoming of a herd of Old Irish Goats on Howth Head as a form of biodiversity promotion and natural fire prevention continue to demonstrate how innovative solutions can be used to tackle climate change. 2022 also saw the approval of Fingal Biodiversity Action Plan, with a renewed focus on restoration of carbon rich habitats.
Excellent progress has also been reported on transition to a circular economy. This change is facilitated in part by the operation of 2 civic amenity sites at Swords and Coolmine, where over 5,500kg of paint, 134 bikes and many musical instruments were recycled. Segregated waste bins have been installed in busy parks and 23 Fingal schools were assisted in achieving Green Flag status in 2022.
These sample actions show the wide range of solutions and ideas that Fingal County Council has brought together to tackle climate change. The report also demonstrates the meaningful commitment and hard work of Council staff to date as they work to educate, promote and act on climate change.
A copy of the full report is available to view online at https://www.fingal.ie/climate-change-action-plan-2019-2024.