The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, has announced €60 million in funding from the Climate Action Fund for community climate action projects, and a new long-term structure to support public engagement on climate action.
The Minister made the announcement from COP26 in Glasgow at an online event, which gathered people from all over Ireland who took part in the Climate Conversations earlier this year.
€60 million from the Climate Action Fund will be invested in community climate action projects and initiatives, as well as capacity building, over the next three years. The programme will roll out in two phases. €30 million will be allocated for the first phase.
The overall objective is to support and empower communities to shape and build low carbon, sustainable communities in a coherent way. Examples of projects to be funded may include: community EV charging points; small renewable energy projects; community EVs; cycle parking; repair hubs; and community biodiversity gardens.
The Minister also announced the launch of a new National Dialogue on Climate Action (NDCA). It will facilitate public engagement, participation, community action, networking and capacity building activities – on climate action. It follows a very successful Climate Conversations series, which fed into the Climate Action Plan that was launched last week.
Minister Ryan said, “the NDCA will facilitate public participation, as we transition to a carbon neutral country. This approach will give everyone the opportunity to engage constructively – to make sure no one is left behind and to deliver on climate action in a fair, just, and equitable manner. When we held the Climate Conversations earlier this year to prepare the Climate Action Plan, one of the key messages from the public was that they want Government to support and incentivise the kind of changes we need to make at community level.”
“While Government will make major investments through the National Development Plan, I encourage people to apply for this community funding to find creative solutions at a local level, whether that’s promoting biodiversity or funding an electric vehicle for a community group to make greener transport more accessible.”
Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development with special responsibility for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD, said, “the community and voluntary sector will be a crucial partner in ensuring that people in local communities across Ireland, and indeed the world, are engaged in, and feel part of, the required changes. The sector will also play a crucial role in helping us to ensure that the most vulnerable are protected and we achieve a truly Just Transition. The Climate Conversations were a crucial piece of work but we must ensure that ongoing dialogue is central to how we proceed with the climate actions necessary to improve all our lives.”