Wednesday, 21st August 2019
Press statement by Hildegarde Naughton TD
Fine Gael, Galway West and South Mayo
Schools, clubs and community groups in Galway are being encouraged to apply for funding towards environmental-action projects under a new €1 million climate-change and biodiversity scheme revealed by the Government.
The scheme will support community-led environmental initiatives as part of the national Climate Action Plan, offering local communities a practical way of doing their part to tackle climate change.
Fine Gael TD for Galway West Hildegarde Naughton, who is the chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, said that households and communities have an important role to play in the drive to protect the environment.
“The climate-change can has been kicked down the road for too long, and drastic changes are required at every level in order to ensure a sustainable future for our environment,” she said.
“There is an enormous responsibility on the Government in that regard, but every person, family and community can also make a positive difference in tackling the climate challenge.”
Deputy Naughton said that the Community Environment Action Fund will support and coordinate local efforts by providing €1 million to hundreds of approved projects that will drive real change in communities around the country.
Projects focusing on climate change and biodiversity will be prioritised, examples of which may include community gardens, allotments, compost schemes, rainwater harvesting, educational initiatives, and environmental exhibitions.
“Minister Richard Bruton officially opened the scheme on Wednesday (August 21), and it will remain open for applications until September 27,” explained Deputy Naughton.
“I would urge all interested groups to make an application for support under the scheme through their local authorities, from which application forms are available. The importance of instigating positive change at community level cannot be overestimated,” she added.
The Community Environment Action Fund was previously known as the Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund or LA21. It funds small-scale environmental projects at local level.
Minister Bruton has chosen climate and biodiversity as the priorities for this year’s scheme. His department will provide €460,000 of the total pot, while the remainder will come from local authorities.
The relevant contacts for local authorities and further information on the fund can be obtained from the department’s website, www.dccae.gov.ie.
Deputy Naughton was involved in the preparation of the Government’s 180-page Climate Action Plan earlier this year in her role as chairperson of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Action.
The committee’s report informed the government strategy and was unanimously endorsed by the Dáil. It outlines how Ireland will achieve its 2030 targets for carbon emissions, and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.