New Commission Aims To Slash Gas Emissions

A new task force to enact transformative change on climate action has been established by Belfast City Council and Queen's University Belfast.

The Belfast Climate Commission, made up of a range of organisations across the city, aims to play a role in taking necessary action to achieve government targets of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The local initiative is one of three city-based climate commissions across the UK, alongside Edinburgh and Leeds.

Working with existing city structures and programmes, it will translate climate policy into action on the ground to bring about transformative change.

The commission was launched on Friday 10 January and includes representatives from organisations across Belfast, and also includes several sub-groups to focus on specific themes including climate finance and community empowerment.
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Speaking at the launch event, Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Daniel Baker said: "Like many cities, the impacts of climate change for Belfast will be profound. It is critical that we are well prepared, and protect all of our citizens, particularly the most vulnerable. We must also be ambitious in the targets we set to reduce our impact on the planet. I am particularly pleased to be launching this commission today because of its focus on place-based action and on the work that we can do to ensure climate resilient communities."

Professor Ian Greer, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University Belfast added: "The climate crisis is the defining issue of our time, and it is essential that we understand its impact for the places we inhabit. Queen's University Belfast is delighted to be launching this major programme, in partnership with Belfast City Council, which brings together the research community and decision-makers in the public, private and third sectors to find solutions in a collaborative way."

The work of the Belfast Climate Commission is supported by Dr Amanda Slevin, PCAN Policy Fellow at Queen's University Belfast, who chairs the Community Climate Action working group.

Co-chaired by Professor John Barry, Professor of Green Political Economy at Queen's University and by Grainia Long, Commissioner for Resilience, the Commission held its first meeting in December 2019 and commenced a major study to make the economic case for decarbonisation. The author of the study, Professor Andy Gouldson, who is Chair of the Leeds Climate Commission and a co-investigator for PCAN, will present interim findings at the event.


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