Lord Mayor of Dublin presents at Local Government in Networks for a New Europe

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Photo of Lord Mayor Emer Costello at the European Summit of Local GovernmentsThe Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Emer Costello, gave a presentation recently entitled 'Advance and results of implementing the Mayors’ Agreement', as part of the European Summit of Local Governments in Barcelona, 22-24 February. Codema's Director Gerry Wardell was also in attendance.

The Lord Mayor spoke about Dublin City's progress since signing up to the Covenant of Mayors in March 2009. The Covenant of Mayors commits Member States to curb their CO₂ emissions by at least 20% by 2020. Signatories of the Covenant of Mayors contribute to these policy objectives through a formal commitment to go beyond this target through the implementation of their Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP).
  
A Sustainable Energy Action Plan analyses Dublin’s current energy and carbon dioxide emissions and sets out how Dublin can reduce energy consumption in areas such as planning, transport and residential and commercial dwellings.  Dublin City is represented through its energy agency Codema as a member of the EC SEAP Expert Group at the Joint Research Council in Brussels, which sets out a common EU template for preparing SEAPs in the future.

The Lord Mayor was involved in the development of the Climate Change Strategy for Dublin City 2008 – 2012 as part of the Environment and Engineering Strategic Policy Committee of Dublin City Council. The main focus of the Strategy is to reduce the five million tonnes of CO2 emitted each year in Dublin City.  The strategy has been reviewed after its first twelve months and has established the indicators in the areas of energy planning, transport, waste management and biodiversity. The main focus of the Strategy is to reduce the five million tonnes of CO2 emitted each year in Dublin City.
 
The Action Plan identifies the residential sector in Dublin as having huge potential for CO₂ abatement through retrofitting of houses. Figures from the Action Plan show that potential savings of over €1 billion can be achieved by homes in the Dublin city region alone in the period from 2008 - 2020. This includes savings of over €450 million by properly insulating walls and attics, more than €400 million on boiler upgrades, €70 million on replacing windows, €88 million on low energy lighting and over €100 million on renewable energy. These energy-efficient measures would also have the potential to drastically reduce the city’s carbon emissions by over eight million tonnes in the same period.

Cllr Emer Costello established the Lord Mayor’s Commission for Employment which focuses on job creation and the retention of existing employment. Retrofitting of homes in the Dublin can allow for significant job creation, for example, Dublin’s energy agency Codema have set up the Energy Smart Community scheme which allows homeowners to join together in clusters to improve the energy performance of their homes. The Energy Smart Community will also provide employment to contractors and trades people. Similarly, Codema have received European Regional Development Funding under the new “Greenov” project, which will create clusters across north-west Europe for green innovation.

Another example of a residential project is the Emerald Project in Ballymun, comprising of 37 houses and apartments, which will be one of the most energy efficient housing developments ever built in Ireland.  It is due for completion in January 2011. Some of the main features of the Emerald project will be:

  • Negative CO2 usage rating
  • Solar panels
  • Green roofs
  • Biomass boiler (wood pellet boiler)
  • Radiant wall heat delivery
  • Passive ventilation & passive heat recovery
  • Super skin, a high performance building envelope
  • Grey-water recycling
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Advanced electrics
  • In-vessel composting machine
  • Communal allotment style gardens
  • Electric Car and superior bike parking facilities
  • Public education facilities to disseminate the above

Fr Collins Park: Dublin City Council is producing renewable electricity locally at Fr Collins Park which opened as Ireland’s first wholly urban sustainable park in May 2009. Five 50 kilowatt wind turbines provide electricity for the park’s sport facilities, public lighting and water aeration. This brings the portion of renewable energy for the Council’s own use to 19 per cent.

Future for Dublin

The Dublin City Development Plan for 2011 – 2017 is in draft form and is based on two overarching principles; sustainability and quality of life. Its aim is have a clean, green, compact and connected city with an innovative smart economy and sustainable neighbourhoods and communities. As a proud signatory to the Covenant of Mayors, Dublin is committed to the principles of best energy policy for the creation of an energy-smart city.

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