Minister O Brien welcomes the role of PPNs in the development of the next Climate Action Plan
Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development with special responsibility for Community Development and Charities, has welcomed today’s launch of the Climate Action Plan Public Consultation.
This process is being used to develop Ireland’s next Climate Action Plan and will support the update of the Climate Action Plan 2019 leading to a wide ranging and more in depth citizen, community and sectoral discussion.
The aim of this dialogue is to give the public an opportunity to engage constructively with the development of the Climate Action Plan 2021. It will involve a series of interlinked dialogues and conversations, which will feed into an annual National Climate Conversation. The public consultation will run concurrently with a call for evidence that will accommodate more detailed and expert input.
There are three stages to this process including a broad online conversation, an in-depth citizen conversation and local level conversations that will be facilitated and hosted by Public Participation Networks (PPNs). These local level conversations will include engagement with community and voluntary representatives to inform the delivery of a Climate Action Fund to support climate related initiatives at a local level.
In highlighting the important role of the PPNs, Minister O’Brien stated :
“This consultation process is very important as Climate Change and our response to it in the form of the Climate Action Plan will affect many aspects of life in Ireland, from how we generate energy, how we move from A to B and how we shop.
“I am very glad that the PPNs are involved because they are realising one of their key functions which is bringing valuable on-the-ground, local experience and expertise into national policy-making.
“For some people climate change still feels theoretical. We will be asking people to think of their own locality & community, their weekly routine and tell us what climate action would look like at a tangible grassroots level where you live. We will be asking what communities need to make climate action happen.
“We will be asking about particular groups of people who may be adversely impacted by the move away from a carbon based transport & energy system – how can we offset that impact?
“I am confident that these conversations will enrich the process for the development of the Climate Action Plan as well as informing the delivery of the Climate Action Fund at a local level.”
Further information on the development of the new Climate Action Plan including how individuals and communities can engage with the consultation process can be found on gov.ie.
A PPN is a network for Community and Voluntary, Social Inclusion and Environmental groups in each local authority area. PPNs allow local authorities to connect with volunteer-run groups around the country. As a result, PPNs provide a mechanism by which citizens can have a greater say in local government decisions that affect their own communities.
PPNs provide the voice of the community for local authority boards and committees. Where a local authority requires a representative from the community to sit on their boards or committees such as Strategic Policy Committees or Local Development (LCDCs), they must source this representative from the PPN. PPNs work to enable the community to be represented in decision-making processes that impact citizens through representation on council committees, consultation processes, policy submissions and more.
The PPN is therefore the “go to” for all local authorities who wish to benefit from community and voluntary expertise in their area.
Membership of a PPN is open to all volunteer-led/not-for-profit groups in a local authority area. Over 17,800 groups nationwide are currently members of a PPN.
Co Kildare PPN can be contacted here: https://www.kildareppn.ie/