Derry & Strabane Council applies to UN global Race to Zero

Derry & Strabane Council is to apply to become a member of the United Nations’ Race to Zero campaigns as part of its commitment to tackle the climate crisis.

By Gillian Anderson
Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 4:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 4:19 pm

The move was agreed at Derry City and Strabane’s July Environment and Regeneration Committee meeting and is designed tor strengthen current and planned initiatives.

The Council will also apply to join the UN’s Race to Resilience initiative.

Representatives were told that these measures support the Climate Emergency Declaration of July 2019 and subsequent pledge approved by Council in July 2020 committing to a shift to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

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A huge youth-led protest calling for Climate Action back in September 2019.

Proposing the recommendation that council make the application be accepted, Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson said: “It does align with our previous commitments around reducing our carbon footprint and I am happy to propose we accept the recommendation and do apply.

“As a council we have a major role in terms of showing leadership and taking action to try and reverse the damage to our environment that we are seeing played out in the climate throughout the world.

“It is a good step and an important step and it will help us on our pathway to zero.”

The Race to Resilience is a global campaign to rally leadership and support from business, cities, regions and investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery.

The ‘High-level Climate Champions’ element requires that the commitments brought forward meet a set of common criteria to join the Race to Zero, many of which are already under way through existing initiatives in Derry and Strabane.

SDLP Councillor Brian Tierney seconded the recommendation adding: “If we are serious about taking climate action and addressing  the climate emergency then it’s important we are part of this global organisation which is going to address some of the issues.

“It’s a good stepping stone from us where we can learn from others but also teach.”

Supporting the recommendation, PBP Councillor Maeve O’Neill said: “I welcome anything that is going to strengthen our commitment to address the climate crisis.”

The local Council has already joined the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and the Glasgow Food & Climate Declaration and on June 3 of this year hosted a visit to the city from the UK High-Level Climate Champion for Climate Action, Nigel Topping.

Members voted unanimously in favour of the recommendation that Council submit an application to become a member of the United Nations Race to Zero and Race to Resilience campaigns.

By Gillian Anderson

Local Democracy Reporter