Environment

Planning for climate change in Louth

Cllr Butler speaks on Louth Co Co draft climate change adaptation strategy

Jason Newman

Reporter:

Jason Newman

Planning for climate change in Louth

Cllr Butler says we must be more ambitious when it comes to climate change

Encouraging green businesses, planting more trees and promoting an efficient circular economy in the county are just some of the measures Louth County Council have proposed in their draft climate change adaptation strategy.

The strategy acknowledges that the county will face an increase in severe weather events in the coming years and sets out steps the local authority will take to lessen their impact on infrastructure in the county.

The plan also states that the council will place climate considerations at the centre of all policy decisions, as well as ensuing that future construction projects are “climate resilient.”

The strategy proposes to make all Louth County Council public buildings conform to best practise energy efficient standards, to make sure new developments are flood resistant and that green spaces are provided in these developments and in urban spaces more generally.

Commenting on the plan local Green Party councillor Marianne Butler was cautiously optimistic , praising certain aspects of the plan but critical of the limited budget available to implement them.

“It is good to see that the Council is starting to take climate change seriously, but the real test of this strategy will be the implementation. This is about more than just preventing development on flood plains.

"We must be more ambitious and look at the total carbon footprint of where people live, work, and go to school. This would allow us to start reducing our dependency on cars and make cycling and public transport a real option for the people of County Louth.”

She continued: “The strategy contains a number of important recommendations that would actually reduce the pace of climate change such as promoting biodiversity and encouraging the planting of more trees, but at present there is no budget provided for these measures.

“There is a real risk that we are just surrendering to the inevitability of climate change rather than having the courage and the ambition to actually halt it.

"Likewise, the failure to provide any funding for encouraging Green businesses to County Louth and to promote a circular economy are quite short-sighted and undermine our ability to deliver a transition to a carbon neutral economy in the county.”

The strategy is open for public consultation until Friday 28th June, observations or submissions can be made to Louth County Council via email or post.