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Belfast launches Climate Plan with stark carbon warning

Northern Irish capital has released a Resilience Strategy comprising 30 programmes which will focus on resilience for children, climate and connectivity.

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Among the problems facing Belfast in future include infrastructure capacity and flooding
Among the problems facing Belfast in future include infrastructure capacity and flooding

Belfast has launched its first climate plan as it looks to build resilience after warning the city will use up its share of the carbon budget within nine years.

 

The Northern Irish capital’s Resilience Strategy comprises 30 programmes aimed at shifting the city to a zero-emissions, climate resilient economy within a generation. They will be grouped under its three focal points of children, climate and connectivity.

 

The strategy aims to defend against situations that could threaten it today and also prepare it for any problems that arise in future.

 

Legacy problems

 

The city faces a range of problems from segregation and division across sectarian lines, a legacy of the Northern Irish Troubles, economic challenges, poverty and inequality amid the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as difficulties with housing supply and population growth.

 

Among the dangers facing Belfast in future are Brexit, infrastructure capacity and flooding given the city’s role as a major port.

 

The plan follows the launch of a public consultation in April and two years of work with public and private sector organisations. Belfast is part of the Resilient Cities Network and the city is working with fellow members to help drive delivery of the various projects.

"The roadmap sets out how Belfast can ensure rapid reductions in carbon emissions, which also fulfils the aim of Belfast’s Resilience Strategy”

Belfast lord mayor Frank McCoubrey said: “The strategy is about partnership and collaboration to build a better future, so understandably, a key focus is young people and finding ways to help create an active urban environment for children. It also addresses the need to create connections and connect people, sustainable transport and infrastructure in ways that achieve our economic and environmental goals.”

 

The Belfast Climate Commission has also launched its Net Zero Carbon Roadmap for Belfast today with a warning that the city’s carbon emissions need to decrease sharply.

 

The roadmap’s author, professor Andy Gouldson, said: "Based only on the fuel and electricity used within its boundaries, Belfast will use up its share of the carbon budget through to 2050 in just over nine years. The roadmap sets out how Belfast can ensure rapid reductions in carbon emissions, which also fulfils the aim of Belfast’s Resilience Strategy.”

 

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