Kilkenny bid to become first carbon neutral city

L-R Director of Services, Kilkenny County Council Tim Butler, Mayor of Kilkenny Cllr David FitzGerald , Climate Change Co-ordinator Kilkenny County Council Dearbhala Ledwidge, Environmental Activist and Journalist John Gibbons.

“Kilkenny can lead the way in Ireland, and Ireland can lead the way in Europe”.

The words of Mayor of Kilkenny, Cllr David FitzGerald at the Town hall meeting recently on Kilkenny’s bid to become Ireland’s first Carbon Neutral City.

Locals attended the Town hall to discuss tackling Climate Change in Kilkenny.

On the night, Kilkenny County Council Director of Services, Tim Butler spoke about the impact we are already seeing locally that the County Council are tackling on a yearly basis with extreme weather events.

Newly appointed Climate Change Co-ordinator in Kilkenny County Council Dearbhala Ledwidge spoke about the national aim for a Climate resilient biodiversity-rich sustainable climate neutral economy by 2050. ‘’It is hugely ambitious plan , leadership has to be shown by everybody, not just the local authority, but every single sector has to show leadership.

There has to be working collaboration to achieve this and a cultural change right across society, continued Dearbhla.

Journalist and Climate change activist John Gibbons gave a stark analysis of the climate change in his presentation :”this is not a climate change crisis, it is an everything crisis” said John.

Mr Gibbons said that in 1970, he started in CBS in Kilkenny.

“In that piece of my lifetime more than two thirds of wild animals on earth have disappeared”, continued John.

“Human adaptability is one of our key successes and it also is a critical flaw, which we are adapting too much to this rapid change around us. We are adapting so quickly we don’t notice it. This is called a shifting baseline syndrome and we haven’t noticed the world around us is falling down” said Mr Gibbons.

85% of the locals who attended the meeting said they were alarmed about Climate Change Crisis.

They expressed a resounding sense of urgency that a cultural change is necessary on tackling this crisis.

As the meeting concluded, Mayor of Kilkenny Cllr. David FitzGerald stated he intends bringing his proposal for Kilkenny to apply to be the first Carbon Neutral City in Ireland before elected members in the New Year.

‘’Kilkenny can lead the way in Ireland being the first Carbon Neutral City, and Ireland can lead the way in Europe. The narrative that we are too small to have an impact on this crisis is wrong. Kilkenny being a Carbon Neutral City is an achievable plan, with Right now a lot of ground work is happening with regards to Kilkenny’s carbon emissions, which both Dearbhala and Tim spoke about tonight, but we can do better and we can all have achievable goals to greatly reduce our carbon emissions. The council is advancing the adaption of climate action plan which will come before the members of Kilkenny County council in early 2023 and then I will bring my proposal for Kilkenny to apply to be Ireland’s first carbon neutral city. I hope the people of Kilkenny will join us on our bid to be the change.’’. Mayor Fitzgerald


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