Improvement Objective One
Mid Ulster District Council will seek to reduce the environmental impacts of our own activities and will contribute to the improvement of the wider environment through local action.
This objective links to theme two in Mid Ulster’s Community Plan: Infrastructure.
The outcomes aligned to this objective are:
- we increasingly value our environment and enhance it for our children
- we will develop a rolling programme of projects and actions to work towards and contribute to a more sustainable Council and District
Why we are doing it?
As we navigate through and ultimately emerge into a post-pandemic era, how we reshape our world will have key implications for our ability to address climate change this decade.
The global response to the Covid-19 crisis has had little impact on the continued rise in atmospheric concentrations of CO2, says the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). This year carbon emissions, have fallen dramatically due to lockdowns that have cut transport and industry severely (carbon emissions fell by 17% at their peak), but this has only marginally slowed the overall rise in concentrations, the scientists say and, the overall effect on concentrations has been very small.
Climate change has been recognised internationally as the most important environmental challenge that we currently face it is a large scale, long-term shift in the Earth’s weather patterns and average temperatures. Scientific consensus recognises human activity as a major cause of recent unprecedented warming and climate projections show that past, current and future gas emissions will influence the climate for decades.
The Climate Change Act passed in 2008, committed the UK to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 when compared to 1990 levels. This approach has now been used as a model for action across the world, and is mirrored by the United Nations’ Paris Agreement. The next world climate summit is to be held in Glasgow towards the end of November 2021 and during the last 11 years, the Summit has become a key platform for connecting markets with policies, to flatten the climate curve.
The intergovernmental panel on climate change predicts increases in extreme weather events over the twenty first century and attributes this to a result of greenhouse emissions and rising surface temperatures. The latest UK Climate Change projections (UKC P18) predict that Northern Ireland will experience warmer, wetter winters and hotter drier summers by the 2050s, with extreme weather events becoming more frequent.
We recognise the key role and contribution that the Council has in supporting and promoting local actions and local people, businesses and partners in the move to a low carbon future. Taking action to protect the environment for future generations is a priority for Mid Ulster and is recognised in the District's Community Plan and Corporate Plan.
We care about the environment and understand our legal duty to protect it.
We seek to minimize the environmental impacts of our own Council activities and work with other partners and stakeholders to protect and enhance our local environment.
Subject to procurement regulations, we can also choose to buy local produce which not only supports our local economy, it also reduces carbon emissions from freight transport and travel. Climate change is a collective issue and we can all make changes to our lifestyles to reduce the impact on the environment.