Sinn Féin councillor Conor D. McGuinness has given a guarded welcome to the new Climate Action Charter for Local Authorities, which commits the local government sector to driving forward meaningful climate action in their communities. He warned, however, that the charter is meaningless unless funding is made available to implement the measures it contains.
“While I welcome the adoption of this Charter by both Government and Waterford City and County Council, I am concerned that without funding being made available to implement it it will amount to little more than a publicity exercise.
“The charter commits councils to working together of reduce green house gas emissions, to deliver a 50% improvement in energy efficiency by 2030, and to lead civic engagement on addressing the causes of climate change.
“Our council budget is already facing a €3.3 million year-on-year cut thanks to the confidence-and-supply government of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. If they refuse to sort out their mess the Council will be forced back to recession-era levels of spending and services. In this context it is absurd to expect the Council to be able to make good on the measures contained in the charter without significant funds being made available.”