As one of his final acts as Mayor of Waterford City & County Council, Cllr. John Pratt signed the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy on behalf of the Council.
In doing so Mayor Pratt committed the Council to reducing CO2 emissions within its administrative area by at least 40% by 2030 through improved energy efficiency and greater use of renewable energy sources and increasing its resilience by adapting to the impacts of climate change.
The Council’s commitment to the Covenant of Mayors follows the unanimous adoption of a motion proposed by then Councillor, Marc O’Cathasaigh in October 2019 and is in line with the Council’s Climate Adaptation Strategy adopted in 2019.
In order to meet their mitigation and adaptation targets signatories to the Covenant of Mayors commit to preparing a Baseline Emission Inventory and a Climate Change Risk and Vulnerability Assessment and submit a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan. They also pledge to mainstreaming mitigation and adaptation considerations into relevant policies, strategies and plans. Much of this work has already been completed as part of the Council’s Climate Adaptation Strategy.
In signing the Covenant, Cllr, Pratt acknowledged that local authorities are key drivers of the energy transition and fight against climate change at the level of governance closest to citizens and share the responsibility for climate action with regional and national government. Climate change mitigation and adaptation can bring multiple benefits to the environment, society and the economy. Tackled together they open up new opportunities to promote sustainable local development including building inclusive, climate resilient and energy efficient communities; enhancing the quality of life; stimulating investment and innovation; boosting the local economy and creating jobs; reinforcing stakeholder engagement and cooperation.
The Council will be required to report on the implementation of its Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan every two years.