The future is green for Mulranny as Mayo's Initial Decarbonsing Zone
On May 10th the coastal village of Mulranny was formally announced by Mayo County Council as Mayo’s Initial Decarbonising Zone, aiming to reduce greenhouse gases by at least 51% by 2030 as required under Action 165 of the National Climate Action Plan.
Selected as a resilient, vibrant, and sustainable community on a pathway to zero carbon emissions, Mulranny will now become an exemplar site for the rest of the county, leading the way for other Mayo communities seeking to decarbonise.
Mulranny was one of 10 Mayo communities to apply to be Mayo’s initial Decarbonising Zone. The initiative attracted huge engagement around the county, to the extent that within the tight application time frame DZ committees have been established to decarbonise 30% of Mayo’s population.
While every Local Authority had to select a Decarbonising Zone (DZ), Mayo’s approach has been unique as Martin Keating, Head of Environment, Climate Action and Agriculture, Mayo County Council explains “To meet the ambitious target set out by government for the DZ we recognise that the community must be part of the decarbonising process from the very beginning. It was for this reason we invited communities to apply to become Mayo’s Initial Decarbonising Zone.”
The application form focused on previous community experience, the community vision for 2030 and their DZ structure. Mulranny’s vision for 2030 is to become an empowered community, with a low carbon economy, living in a thriving biosphere. Using a participative democracy network, Mulranny’s ambition includes community energy initiatives, regenerative agricultural actions and the promotion of the circular economy in the village and its wider community.
Speaking on the award, the Chair of the DZ Evaluation Committee, Cllr Blackie Gavin said “It was a very challenging task to choose the initial decarbonising zone. All applications were of an extremely high standard. The visions submitted were not only ambitious and innovative in how they would meet and surpass the 50% target but outline beautiful futures for Mayo. However, as there can only be one winner initially, I would like to congratulate Mulranny. With their track record and commitment to decarbonising I am confident they will meet the targets and lead the way for all Mayo communities to decarbonise.”
The grass-roots approach undertaken demonstrates the phenomenal level of interest in sustainability and climate management actions in urban and rural communities across Mayo. 150 people now sit on DZ committees in Mayo and letters of support have been received from all sectors of society including business, community groups, schools, elected representatives, farming organisations, church, national organisations.
This commitment and enthusiasm have resulted in Mayo County Council committing further resources to drive on with decarbonising in Mayo. A full-time staff resource together with a cash allocation for matched funding will be made available to the communities that have demonstrated their willingness to decarbonise.
A series of workshops were held in March and April of 2021 to assist communities with the DZ application process. The workshops covered:
- An introduction to Decarbonising Zones
- Energy: How to transition to a low carbon community?
- Nature Based Solutions: How can nature help us decarbonise?
These workshops can be viewed here