Garvey Criticises Council Approach To Climate Change

Frustration has been expressed in the wake of Clare County Council’s adoption of a new strategy on climate change.

Activists from a range of backgrounds have criticised the document as saying it doesn’t go far enough, as Clare Fm’s Gavin Grace reports.

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The Climate Change Adaptation Policy outlines Clare County Council’s plans to deal with climate change up to 2024, but also outlines how the weather has impacted on the county.

The document details the various major weather events that have hit Clare over recent decades – three happened between 1986 and 2004, while fourteen have been recorded since then.

Such events post a significant financial cost on the Council, with coastal flooding in 2014 leading to damage in the order of €35 million. The local authority says a reactive response is not sustainable into the future.

As a result, this strategy looks to put in place a policy to deal with climate change, and that plan was adopted by Councillors earlier this week.

However, even elected representatives said it didn’t go far enough with Clare’s Green Councillor Roisin Garvey particularly scathing.

As part of this policy, the Council will NOT be following the lead of most other Councils in developing a strategic policy committee to focus on climate change.

Two dozen local authorities have designated one of the powerful committees to oversee matters related to climate, but that won’t happen in Clare which instead wants the issue to be to the fore of thinking for all of its decision-making groupings.

Officials say it’s a high-level strategy, with more detail to follow, but Theresa O’Donohoe of the Clare Environmental Network isn’t impressed.

Those who have led the climate change protests in Clare have arguably been students, who will be staging a fresh demonstration in Ennis this Friday as part of their Fridays for Future campaign.

Colaiste Mhuire student Kate Harty says there’s nothing new in that document so it’s prompting them to get back out and protest.