Bray People

| 10°C Dublin

Councillors briefed on climate change emergency

Keith Scanlon and Annette Kelly from the Greystones Community Climate and Biodiversity Group addressed members of Greystones Municipal District last Tuesday evening (28th).

The spirit of collaboration was top priority, said Keith Scanlon, who said that more could be achieved by working together than separately.

'For example, if we decide as a community that fossil fuel is not okay, then first of all we stop using peat. As a community, if we agree not to use peat, we can probably do this,' he said.

While the use of fracked is not quite as simple, he said that Greystones, for example, can influence others so the whole country stops its use.

He spoke about sustainable transport, and the idea of congestion on the N11 which people have been sitting in for the past 20 years and more, for at least 90 minutes in the morning and the same in the evening.

'We can't fix that, but we can lead the effort,' he said.

Mr Scanlon said that an emergency having been declared, the next step is mobilisation and taking action.

He said that other priorities include insuring young people can expect to be able to have a house in the future, as well as appropriate health care.

'An emergency is either something you have to cope with and survive, or an opportunity to connect stakeholders and try to shape Wicklow,' said Mr Scanlon. 'If we don't, it's going to look pretty bad, but I think we can.'

He said that last year, the community had taken actions to improve things and in the spring brainstormed a list of ideas, from a youth assembly, of what can be focussed on.

Cllr Tom Fortune said that the points could be examined by Wicklow County Council's Strategic Policy Committee on climate change and biodiversity, of which Mr Scanlon is a member.

Cllr Gerry Walsh thanked the spokespeople, and agreed that everyone is very aware of traffic congestion. He said that someone has contacted the council with the idea of a 'cycling bus' group to help get children to school safely and in an environmentally friendly way.' That's the type of thing we need to encourage and promote,' he said.

'Considering global warming seems to be getting vaster and exceeding projections, clearly something needs to be done,' said Cllr Derek Mitchell. 'Wicklow has been quite good in that most issues don't break down by particular party lines, there is cross-party consensus, which is a good thing.'

He said that perhaps after the election the next minister for transport will get more involved than the present one on plans for the N11.

Cllr Mags Crean said that what the young people have done in terms of mobilising to effect change is excellent. She asked if the group had formalised, and learned that they haven't yet.

'We are some parents and grandparents and young people talking to each other and meeting in the park,' said Mr Scanlon. They discussed the possibility of formalising, or associating with an established group such as Tidy Towns, in order to apply for funding for future projects.

Bray People