Calls for Kerry County Council to declare climate emergency

There are calls for Kerry County Council to declare a climate emergency.

Sinn Féin councillor Toireasa Ferris made the appeal, while also calling on the council to publish a climate action plan and declare a biodiversity action plan.

She says we are in a climate emergency, adding the council should acknowledge and support the recent Climate Strikes driven by young people nationally.

Cllr Ferris asked KCC to cease using Round-Up and also urged the planting of wildflowers in grass margins, which she says would reduce the number of areas needing to be cut.

CEO of Kerry County Council Moira Murrell told Cllr Ferris that the council had previously committed to minimise the use of Round-Up and would look at alternatives.

Climate change within Kerry County Council is being addressed, according to the council, through a combination of mitigation measures aimed at reducing energy consumption and reliance on fossil fuels.

The council says it is on target to achieve its energy performance reduction targets of 33% by end 2020.

It also recently approved the raising of a loan to carry out a major LED lighting replacement programme of all the public lighting in the county – once completed energy performance should reduce by over 40%.

A Climate Change Adaption Strategy will be finalised and presented to council for adoption in September; this will contain a series of actions to achieve the objectives of the strategy.

The council also says its Biodiversity Action Plan will be updated having regard to the Climate Change Adaption Strategy and the national Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2021.