Kildare Climate Action Linkage Group (KCALG)

Uimhir Thagarta Uathúil: 
KCC-C55-405
Stádas: 
Submitted
Údar: 
Climate Action linkage group PPN
Líon na ndoiciméad faoi cheangal: 
17
Teorainneacha Gafa ar an léarscáil: 
Níl
Údar: 
Climate Action linkage group PPN

Litir Chumhdaigh

Kildare Climate Action Linkage Group (KCALG) welcomes the opportunity to provide a submission as part of the Draft Kildare County Development Plan 2023-2029 Consultation.

We see the creation of this new County Development Plan (CDP) as a very timely opportunity to refocus efforts to forge a more sustainable and resilient Kildare. We want the new CDP to have a strong community focus, and to set Kildare on an ambitious trajectory of actions that will reduce our climate impacts, reverse biodiversity loss, restore habitats, and create a thriving, truly sustainable Kildare.

Background to Kildare Climate Action Linkage Group (KCALG):

Linkage Groups are the thematic networks at the core of the Public Participation Network (PPN). They are the main vehicles through which the PPN advocates for the Community.

Following the establishment of the Climate Action Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) in 2020, the KCALG was established to ensure the wider voices of the community were heard and represented through the SPC.

Since its inception, the KCALG has grown to nearly sixty members, made up of a wide range of committed and passionate community groups, some of which are shown in Figure 1.0. The KCALG is open to all to attend. Our Mission is to work with Kildare County Council (KCC) to design and drive both policy and projects that deliver best in class climate action, mitigation, and adaptation measures. Our Vision is that Kildare is transformed into a low carbon, sustainable county with communities at the heart of the transition.

Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss:

The growth in the KCALG is a direct reflection of the growing concern and awareness of the impacts of Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss in Kildare and beyond. Given the exponential nature of both the climate and biodiversity crises, we argue that these two themes should be central to the Kildare County Development Plan, and that the Plan should take a ‘Climate and Biodiversity First’ approach, rather than being secondary to any development/economic objectives.

We have been informed at the various information sessions regarding this consultation that “Climate Action will permeate all actions of the Kildare County Development Plan 2023-2029”. We really hope this sentiment is sincere and that this commitment is reflected in the County Development Plan.

Since the publication of the existing Country Development Plan in 2017, Ireland has continued to experience worrying levels of biodiversity loss, increases in emissions, more frequent extreme weather, and growing inequality. The declaration by KCC of a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency was a welcome development, but this declaration must now be matched with ambitious and courageous action, that will set KCC apart as a leader in this space. The CDP provides a unique opportunity to make this happen.

The KCALG has spent considerable volunteer time and effort researching, discussing, and collating this submission. We are urging KCC to take on board ordinary people’s concerns about both climate change and biodiversity loss. We must identify that it can no longer be ‘business at usual’ and unsustainable economic growth cannot continue to be supported.

We are loudly saying that the next CDP must halt some of the unsustainable environmental practices that have continued despite the countless reports and rhetoric. We need to place climate change and biodiversity loss as the central tenets of this CDP with clear measurable objectives and accountable reporting, and with communities at its core.

Acknowledgement:

We would like to sincerely thank the countless volunteers who gave their time and expertise to contribute to this submission.

Observations

1. Introduction and Context

Please see our attachment for Chapter 1

The Kildare Climate Action Linkage Group welcome the opportunity to provide a submission as part of this consultation. We sincerely hope our feedback and suggestions are seriously considered and are included in the next iteration of the Kildare CDP Draft. We note that while we clearly set out a need to highlight both the climate and biodiversity crises in the CDP as part of our response to the Issues Paper, KCC failed to reflect this in the current draft of the CDP. We urge KCC to rectify this as soon as possible.

While recognising efforts of KCC to date and welcoming the rising profile of climate and biodiversity as issues within the county, we are extremely concerned that, given the scale of both the climate and biodiversity crises, the CDP shows a lack of ambition, a lack of resourcing, and a lack of strategic plans and targets to deliver tangible progress.

The reality is that we are losing the battle against climate change and biodiversity loss. Our emissions continue to rise across most sectors in Ireland, our habitats and species continue to decline, and our world is showing increasing signs of breakdown.

These are not just issues for environmentalists or activists. Industries in Ireland are already starting to feel the impact of the climate and biodiversity crises in supply chains, in their customer demands, in their investor demands. Homeowners are feeling the impacts of not having been prepared for energy shocks, which climate change will only intensify. Workers are feeling the impacts of losing their positions due to industries not having adequately prepared themselves for the inevitable transition.  

Local Authorities have a privileged, pivotal role to play in driving climate and biodiversity action at a local level and beyond. There is no shortage of residents in Kildare ready to assist and support ambitious measures, but they must be ambitious.

We urge you to ensure that the CDP is as ambitious as possible, that it provides clarity for Kildare’s climate and biodiversity action roadmap, and that it does not provide any opportunity for ambiguous language or watering down of commitments.

We have no more time to waste.

Faisnéis

Uimhir Thagarta Uathúil: 
KCC-C55-405
Stádas: 
Submitted
Líon na ndoiciméad faoi cheangal: 
17
Teorainneacha Gafa ar an léarscáil: 
Níl