Action on climate change
Our elected members declared a climate emergency in October 2019.
We are committed to:
- becoming a carbon-neutral organisation as urgently as possible
- producing an action plan setting out how we will become a carbon-neutral organisation
- work with partners across Belfast and with central and devolved government to seek to ensure that Belfast district’s net carbon emissions are reduced by 80% compared to 2005 levels as quickly as possible
Our action to date
We have established a Resilience and Sustainability Board through our Community Planning process. It is made up of the key public and community bodies in the city and aims to share experience and knowledge on environmental sustainability to drive the agenda forward.
We are working towards publishing a climate adaptation and mitigation plan. When published in 2021, the plan will aim to deliver the vision set out in the draft Belfast Resilience Strategy - to transition to a low-carbon economy in a generation.
The plan is being developed in consultation with a number of cities as part of Belfast’s membership of the Resilient Cities Network.
Our climate plan will focus actions that we can take as a council in relation to:
- climate adaptation - actions taken to prepare for the effects of climate change, such as building flood defences
- climate mitigation - processes associated with preventing or alleviating the impacts of climate change, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing our carbon footprint.
On a citywide level, we co-chair the Belfast Climate Commission with Queen’s University. The commission works with research and city partners to translate climate policy into ‘on the ground’ action, bringing transformative change to local communities. Through the commission, work is underway on a major study examining how the economic benefits of decarbonisation can be felt by everyone in Belfast.
Other climate related actions we’ve taken to date include:
- produced an Environmental Sustainability Review which sets out a pathway to become a carbon-neutral organisation
- set up an internal officer board to develop a Council Climate Plan
- established an All Party Working Group on Climate Crisis
- commissioned a Belfast Mini Stern Report: A Net Zero Carbon Roadmap for Belfast (link opens in new window)
- worked with the Belfast Community Planning Partnership to establish a Belfast Resilience and Sustainability Board
- joined a number of climate-related networks including Resilient Cities Network, Core Cities and APSE Energy (all links open in a new window)