Councillors in the Municipal District (MD) of Donegal believe they need more clarification before they adopt the Draft Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2019-2024.

Bryan Cannon from Donegal County Council’s environment section gave a presentation on the plan at the September MD meeting last week.

But a number of councillors said they needed more details before a vote to adopt the plan at full council on September 30.

Mr Cannon said that climate action fell into two distinct areas; adaptation whereby the strategy was to take action and minimise risk, and mitigation which involved a reduction in greenhouse gases.

“This is a very pertinent topic,” he said.

The Draft Strategy includes a range of actions across four themes: Critical Infrastructure and Buildings; Natural and Cultural Capital; Water Resources and Flood Management;  and Community Services.

A number of documents including Donegal County Council Draft Climate Change Adaptation Strategy were available at County House in Lifford, public service centres and libraries from August 6 to September 5. They were also on Donegal County Council’s website.

Submissions are now being assessed and a Public Consultation report is being prepared.

  Vague

However, Cathaoirleach of Donegal MD Cllr Noel Jordan (SF) said: “It is very vague about what we are going to adopt on the day. This is a climate strategy within our local authority that is going to take us years down the road. What are we going to be adopting?

"We could adopt a strategy that mightn’t be fair to everybody. We need to be clearer.”

Cllr Niamh Kennedy (Ind) agreed, saying: “We need to see all the submissions. It is quite unclear at the moment.”

She felt it would not be appropriate to sign off on the strategy on September 30 without a full understanding.

Mr Cannon said the draft document was very detailed and contained a lot of actions.

“We will go through each of the submissions so members can be very well informed,” he said.

Mr Cannon added that a lot of responsibility lay with other bodies outside the council.

“But we will work with those bodies,” he said.

Members agreed to his offer of a further workshop on the matter in advance of a full council meeting on September 30.

Cllr Jordan added: “We all know it has to be tackled. It has been kicked down the road for so long now that it is going to have to be paid dearly for by tax-payers.

“But we need more clarification.”

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