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Ireland criticised over SDG Implementation Plan

On Thursday 26 April, Minister Denis Naughten, T.D., launched Ireland's Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan 2018 – 2020. The plan is in direct response to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and provides a whole-of-government approach to implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), identifying four strategic priorities to guide implementation: 

Northern Ireland falling behind on climate commitments

In late June the UK Committee for Climate Change published its annual report to Parliament on how we are progressing towards legally-binding emissions reduction targets. The Climate Change Act is UK-wide and the report provides details on greenhouse gas emissions for each part of the country. The report shows that despite targets for greenhouse gas reductions, last year Northern Ireland saw an increase in emissions. The report warns that unless action is taken now, the public faces an unnecessarily expensive deal to make the shift to a low-carbon economy.

Ireland set to be first country to end investment in fossil fuels

power station

Ireland is set to become the first country to stop public investments in fossil fuels.

The Fossil Fuel Divestment bill was passed by the lower house of parliament, Dáil Éireann, on Thursday.

The bill is expected to pass relatively quickly through the Seanad (senate), and will force the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund to end any investments in non-renewable energy in five years.

Environment activists have welcomed the news.

The ISIF is worth €8.9bn (£7.9bn; $10.4bn), of which more than €300m is invested in oil, gas, coal and other fossil fuels, according to Ireland's Catholic development agency, Trócaire, which supported the bill.

Government must embed SDGs into Brexit strategy, report urges

The report was unveiled at the House of Commons Photo: Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be placed at the heart of the UK's Brexit strategy, according to a new report stating that government policy is performing inadequately across three-quarters of the targets listed under goals.

The report, published 3 July by the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD), gathered insight from more than 100 businesses, charities, trade unions and government agencies to outline current legislative actions against the SDGs.

Of the 143 targets considered relevant to the domestic delivery of the goals, the report notes that the UK is only performing well on 24% of its targets. According to the UKSSD, policy gaps or inadequate performance were listed alongside 57% of the targets, while 15% had “little to no policy in place” to address them.

Irish coffee company Frank and Honest goes compostable

16 May 2018 via Irish News

IRISH coffee company Frank and Honest is to become the first national brand to move to 100 per cent compostable coffee cups.

Frank and Honest, available in selected SuperValu, Centra and Mace stores, will replace all non-recyclable single-use coffee cups with a new compostable cup and lid from September 2018. The new initiative has the potential to divert millions of coffee cups from landfill annually.

Fergal O’Kane from Musgrave, said: “Frank and Honest has a national geographical footprint with 630 locations across the island of Ireland, so this new initiative will help move towards a more sustainable Northern Ireland."

London Mayor orders Europe's largest electric bus fleet

Khan's ambition is for all London buses to be zero-emission by 2037

20 June 2018

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has ordered 68 fully-electric double-decker buses in a bid to create the largest fleet of its kind in Europe.

Khan's ambition is for all London buses to be zero-emission by 2037

In a bid to combat toxic air levels polluting the capital, Khan has moved to increase the number of electric double-deckers in London more than ten-fold, with the vehicles set to be added to Transport for London’s (TfL) fleet in summer 2019.

Local council proposes ban on release of balloons and lanterns

When a balloon or sky lantern is let go, it will blow away, only to burst or deflate and return to Earth. They can travel thousands of miles before landing in a forest, field, lake or ocean. Balloon and Lantern releases are a global issue. Many animals – marine & terrestrial, wild & domestic – easily mistake them for food or get entangled in any string.

DAERA Environment Fund 2019 - 2022 open

11 June 2018

The DAERA Environment Fund (EF) Strategic Strand is now open for Pre–Applications from eligible applicants

DAERA administers the Environment Fund (EF) to support STRATEGIC projects in Northern Ireland contributing to 4 Environmental Impact Priority areas:

Electricity Consumption and Renewable Generation in Northern Ireland

A report detailing the percentage of electricity consumption in Northern Ireland generated from renewable sources has been published.

The ‘Electricity Consumption and Renewable Electricity Generation in Northern Ireland: Year ending December 2017’ report published on 7 June 2018 details the percentage of electricity consumption in Northern Ireland generated from renewable sources and includes information on the type of renewable generation used.

The report reflects performance against the 2011-15 Programme for Government target which was to “Encourage achievement of 20% of electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2015” and the Executive’s 2010-20 Strategic Energy Framework which includes a target to achieve 40% of electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020.

Local Government Awards 2018

The Local Government Awards Northern Ireland showcase brilliance in service provision, new initiatives and personal commitment from councils, councillors, staff and partners.

Entry for the 2018 Awards is now closed.

The Awards cover nine categories and sponsor partners / support bodies contributing are: Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE); William Johnston Memorial Trust (WJMT); Enterprise Northern Ireland; Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (SOLACE); Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA); National Association of Councillors (NAC); Sustainable NI; Quarry Products Association (QPANI) and Tourism NI.

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