Decarbonisation Zone

Louth County Council nominates Dundalk as Decarbonising Zone

Initiative is part of Government’s Climate Action Plan 2019

30th April 2021: In response to the Government’s Climate Action Plan 2019, Louth County Council has today (Friday 30th April) nominated Dundalk as a Decarbonising Zone. Under the plan, every local authority must identify a Decarbonising Zone within its area. Louth County Council’s nomination was made after careful consideration by a cross-departmental team, whose approach was informed by Codema and CARO’s (the Climate Action Regional Office's) ‘Developing Decarbonising Zones in Ireland’ report.

A Decarbonising Zone is a spatial area in which a range of climate mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity measures and action owners are identified to address local low carbon energy, greenhouse gas emissions and climate needs, to contribute to national climate action targets. As part of the next steps for this project, Louth County Council will create a Decarbonising Zone Implementation Plan Team, with a view to developing an implementation plan by the end of 2021.

Dundalk is identified as the location that will enable the project to have maximum impact to act as a catalyst for the entire County. The town was assessed for suitability based on factors including housing, transport, biodiversity, community, stakeholders, business, and energy.   

Dundalk was part of a European project, HOLISTIC, which identified a sustainable energy zone and successfully delivered a number of renewable energy and efficiency projects. The Dundalk sustainable energy zone facilitated key stakeholder and community engagement on the topic of sustainability. DKIT has also been key in developing learning and innovation in the area of sustainable energy .

The County Council has estimated a reduction target of 85,000 tonnes of CO2 annually for the town by 2030, which is based on the national target for reducing C02 emissions by 51% by the same year.

The Council has developed a suite of proposed projects designed to reduce the town’s target footprint.

These include:

  • An ambitious programme of housing retrofit.
  • Encourage sustainable energy sources to displace fossil fuel electricity generation.
  • The transition of 50% of cars to electric vehicles.
  • The creation of carbon sinks.
  • Increase the percentage of the workforce working from home.
  • Improvements in the commercial sector.
  • The establishment of a decarbonisation and climate action advice centre.

Joan Martin, CEO, Louth County Council said: “Louth County Council is very proud to take this decisive step forward in sustainability by nominating Dundalk as a Decarbonising Zone. This is an important development for all of County Louth. We are determined that this is not a project done in isolation, and that the successful initiatives launched under this pilot should be rolled out to Drogheda, Ardee, Termonfeckin, Clogherhead, Dunleer, Carlingford and the rest of County Louth as soon as possible. We look forward to exploring and executing a whole host of innovative ideas in the area of sustainability, under this project”