€27 Million Community Climate Action Open for Applications
Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, today got 2024 off to a strong start for climate action with the launch of the latest funding pot of €27 million, one of the largest of its kind, earmarked for local organisations working to build low carbon communities.
The Minister launched the mega-fund while visiting County Cavan comprising both the national Climate Action Fund allocation of €24 million and the an allocation of €3 million, which is being provided by the government’s Shared Island Fund to support cross-border and all-island community climate action initiatives.
The landmark climate funding programme, which will be administered by local authorities, can provide amounts of up to €100,000 to larger local projects over an 18-month period. However, there is no one-size-fits-all for local projects and so the fund will be flexible enough to provide lesser amounts as needed to smaller and medium sized local action programmes.
Projects selected for funding under the programmes will have to contribute to national climate and energy targets across the following five themes:
- community energy
- food and waste
- shopping and recycling, and
- local climate and environmental action
Speaking at the launch, Minister Ryan said:
"I have been visiting local authorities and local climate action groups across the country for the past 18 months and in these visits, like today in Cavan, it is clear that local communities are the real drivers of creative and inclusive climate action across Ireland. With climate action, place is everything. What works and what’s needed for a coastal community will be different to what works and what’s needed for a midlands community, for example.
"By allocating funding through local authorities, we can ensure that the climate solutions developed in different regions and counties are designed by, and targeted to, the specific needs of the people and communities in that area, working with the guidance of their dedicated climate co-ordinators. This fund could be seen as a community development fund as much as it is a climate fund, making towns and villages stronger and more resilient to the impact of climate change. Importantly also, the Shared Island dimension of the programme will enable communities to work together across the island of Ireland, to help reach our common climate targets, North and South".
Chief Executive of Cavan County Council, Eoin Doyle, said:
"The new Climate Action Fund will see an investment of €439,000 for communities throughout County Cavan to implement local climate action projects. It’s a substantial fund that is greatly welcomed and will provide the financial support to not-for-profit groups and organisations to undertake necessary climate actions measures to transition to low carbon communities. The additional allocation of €3 million nationally for Shared Island Climate Action will further support engagement by Cavan communities with communities in Northern Ireland to collectively contribute to climate and energy targets across the island".
Applications are now open in Cavan and across many other counties for community and voluntary groups who want to do more in their communities to step up climate action in partnership with their local authorities. The Shared Island dimension of the programme will enable organisations to carry out cross-border and all-island climate action projects in partnership with communities and organisations in Northern Ireland.
All local authorities now have a dedicated Community Climate Action Officer (CCAO) who will assist interested groups with their applications and provide guidance on the programme, helping to match local action with suitable funding.
Groups who are interested in applying should contact their local authority and request to speak to the Community Climate Action Officer about the programme before applications close in early March.