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Decarbonising Zone

The short definition of a Decarbonising Zone is:

A Decarbonising Zone is an area in which a range of climate mitigation measures can co-exist to address local low carbon energy, greenhouse gas emissions and climate needs.

Under Action 165 of the Climate Action Plan 2019 each Local Authority is required to identify a Decarbonisation Zone (DZ). The DZ will at a minimum reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 7% per annum from 2021 to 2030 (a 51% reduction over the decade) and will become a demonstrator area, either urban or rural, for other areas in the county.

Mayo County Council understands that for a DZ to be successful a whole of community approach is required and for this reason we would like to invite communities to apply to become Mayo’s first DZ.

Please download the Decarbonising Zone Community Application Form

To assist communities with the application process and with developing a low carbon vision for 2030 we are hosting three workshops;

Workshop 1 – Introduction to DZ and review of application form

Thursday, 25th March 6 – 7pm

Welcome by Martin Keating, Head of Environment, Climate Change and Agriculture , Mayo County Council 

Orla Murphy MRIAI is Assistant Professor in UCD School of Architecture Planning and Environmental Policy, Co-Director of UCD Centre for Irish Towns (CfIT) member of the high-level roundtable on the New European Bauhaus initiative 

Orla will speak about the New European Bauhaus and how communities are central to reimagining and co-creating a decarbonised future. 

Laura Dixon, Climate Action Officer, Mayo County Council 

Laura will introduce the Decarbonising Zones initiative and run through what is required in the DZ community application form. 

You can view the presentation slides from this workshop here

Video disclaimer:

Due to technical difficulties Martin Keating’s Welcome address and Orla Murphy’s introduction to the New European Bauhaus and how communities are central to reimagining and co-creating a decarbonised future were not recorded. To read Orla’s Presentation see attached.

Workshop 2 – Energy; How to transition to a low carbon community?

Thursday, 1st April 6-7pm

Dr Orla Nic SuibhneSEAI Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) mentor in County Mayo - View Presentation Slides

Orla will give ideas and inspiration on how communities can work towards becoming low carbon and energy efficient and will outline the supports that are available from SEAI including 100% funding for Energy Master Plans.

David O’ Malley, Local Link Director

David will outline the public transport services that Local Link offers and how they work with local communities - View Presentation Slides

Avril Ní Shearcaigh, manager of the Aran Islands Energy Co-Op - View Presentation Slides

Established in 2012, the co-op is working towards generating clean, community owned, energy to ensure the sustainability of the islands into the future. 

Workshop 3 –Nature Based Solutions; How can nature help us decarbonise?

Thursday, 8th April 6-7pm

Dr. Marcus Collier, Assistant Professor in Urban Nature-based Innovation in the School of Natural Sciences in Trinity College Dublin - View Presentation Slides

Nature-based solutions can provide many benefits but what exactly are they and why are they important? This session will show examples of nature-based solutions and outline their potential for decarbonization. 

Gary Goggins, Public Awareness Manager with Wild Atlantic Nature - View Presentation Slides

Gary will introduce the Wild Atlantic Nature LIFE Integrated Project (IP), which aims to improve Ireland's performance in conserving habitats and in particular blanket bog. The project works with farmers and local communities to conserve and improve the quality of blanket bogs and associated habitats and the ecosystem services they provide including clean water, carbon storage and biodiversity. 

Further information on workshops can be found here and an outline of the DZ community application can be found here.

Please email if you require an application form. Deadline for receipt of submissions is 4pm, April 16th

Application forms to be submitted to: Laura Dixon, Climate Action Officer, Mayo County Council

Benefits of becoming a Decarbonising Zone

Mayo County Councils vision for the DZ is that by 2030 it will be a resilient, vibrant and sustainable community on a pathway to zero carbon emissions. The DZ will become an exemplar site for the rest of the county to develop pathways and learnings for other communities to decarbonize.

Mayo County Council will work with the community to reach this target through;

  • providing guidance and leadership
  • helping identify and apply for funding eg. Climate Action Fund, Ireland 2040, Community energy grants
  • developing partnerships with relevant bodies eg. Academia, Government bodies, SEAI etc.
  • developing the 2030 implementation plan with the community (to be submitted to Department of Local Government, Housing and Heritage by Q4 2021)
  • assisting with implementing plan over timeframe to 2030

The complete definition of a Decarbonising Zone is:

A Decarbonising Zone is an area spatially identified by the local authority, in which a range of climate mitigation measures can co-exist to address local low carbon energy, greenhouse gas emissions and climate needs.

The range of policies and projects developed are specific to the energy and climate characteristics of the spatial area covered by the DZ. This can include a range of technologies and measures addressing electricity, heat, transport, building energy efficiency, carbon sequestration, energy storage, grid frequency/inertia etc.

A Decarbonising Zone should also address the wider co-benefits of air quality, improved health, biodiversity, embodied carbon, agricultural practices, sustainable land management, lower noise levels, waste, water, circular economy etc., and should integrate with smart data and ‘smart cities’ initiatives (as relevant).

A Decarbonising Zone can also explore the co-benefits of climate adaptation, and examine a range of local measures such as climate proofing, afforestation, green and blue infrastructure, reducing heat island effects, citizen awareness and behavioural change.

Watch short videos showing how Mayo Community Groups are helping protect our environment here: Mayo PPN Goes Green

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