3D render of snowman holding wooden transparent with Stop Global Warming phrase floating on ice floe

Climate change – how Northern Ireland is playing its part

Discover what’s happening about climate change in your area. You might want to take up some of the services on offer or get involved. Businesses might discover organisations they’d like to collaborate with to limit global warming. Their heroic stories and advice could inspire you into action.

Ards Allotments

Ards Allotments in Newtownards, Northern Ireland.

Ards Allotments provide a space for the community to grow their own. Members can indulge their horticultural ambitions to the full, growing organic food and flowers.

Anyone can develop a small fruit and vegetable garden. The benefits do not end there. Gardening is an excellent source of gentle exercise for all age groups interested in an alternative, healthy leisure pursuit or form of recreation.

Artemis Technologies in Belfast – leading the decarbonisation of the maritime industry

Building on their high-performance background, their mission is to lead the decarbonisation of the maritime industry through the design and development of transformative zero-emission vessels. Take a look at how their journey unfolded from their base in the University of Cambridge to becoming the world’s leading high performance yacht system design company and launching the UK’s largest and most advanced composites design and manufacturing facility in Belfast harbour. Find out more.

Creggan Country Park climate action – Derry/Londonderry

Creggan Country Park is a not for profit water sports, outdoor pursuits and angling facility based in Derry/Londonderry. Located on a 100-acre site just 5 minutes’ drive from the city centre. The Park is using biodiversity, energy efficiency, renewables, habitat management, education and volunteering as tools to tackle climate change locally. Their story includes loads of helpful advice based on what they’ve learnt so far, find out more.

The Glas-na-Bradan Woodland Creation Project, Belfast

The Glas-na-Bradan Woodland Creation Project is aiming to engage the local community in planting and maintaining woodland in Northern Ireland. Read about how The Woodland Trust is transforming a 98 hectare site in the Belfast Hills into a new native woodland, planted entirely by the public.

Recycling wind turbine blades, Belfast

Everun in Belfast, recycles wind turbine blades to build bridges the green way. They are continually looking for projects to be involved with that involve utilising disused turbine parts to provide a more sustainable approach to development. Through being involved in these initiatives they are recycling parts that would have been sent to landfill. More at recycling wind turbine blades.

Furniture reuse scheme in Fermanagh & Omagh

Furniture reuse scheme in Fermanagh & Omagh, in Northern Ireland.

The Fermanagh and Omagh District Council was concerned with the amount of furniture and paint ending up in landfill. So to reduce and reuse this waste, the council added containers at various sites for donations. Residents can collect these donations for free. The scheme has significant environmental, economic and social benefits and is a key initiative in their climate change obligations. More at furniture reuse scheme.

Using waste to improve local communities in Antrim

Across the Mid & East Antrim Borough some 66,772 tonnes of household waste are generated each year. Of this, 34,307 tonnes are reused, recycled, or composted equating to a recycling rate of 51.32%, on a par with the Northern Ireland average. This pilot initiative sought to explore how some of the waste could be utilised for the betterment of local communities and encourage community organisations to consider sustainable funding streams going forward. More at Circus Programme

Watch them grow’ in Fermanagh & Omagh

Fermanagh and Omagh Council provides complimentary sunflower seeds to mark each new birth registered in their district and to enhance health and wellbeing and the living spaces of the residents. Details at watch them grow.

Reward4Waste in Mid & East Antrim

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is on a mission to reduce carbon emissions through smarter recycling. A digital deposit return scheme will increase recycling rates, reduce littering and support a local circular economy. Find out more about Reward4Waste for single-use recyclables to incentivise consumers to recycle through an app-based system.

Energy detectives primary schools programme in Mid & East Antrim

The Energy Detectives Primary Schools programme from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, provides practical learning around electrical energy use in the home with the help of an energy monitor. P6/7 primary school pupils become members of an Energy Detectives team, taking part in a week of fun activities that help them and their families identify potential ‘energy thieves’ in their homes and discover just where energy is being wasted to encourage behavioural change. Find our more at energy detectives.

Mid & East Antrim pre-worn school uniform scheme

Mid and East Antrim’s Community Planning Partnership teamed up with Mid and East Antrim Community Advice Services and Volunteer Now to help provide families with good quality, clean and pre-worn school uniforms. More about this at Mid East Antrim school uniform scheme.

Single point of contact for help with fuel poverty in Mid & East Antrim

Mid and East Antrim’s Community Health and Wellbeing Service aims to support their local residents with a ‘single point of contact’ for households struggling with fuel poverty and other health and wellbeing issues. The service has supported improved access to services provided by the Council, from home safety to cleansing, to environmental health services. More at safe warm and well.

Fermanagh & Omagh turn food waste into a resource

Food waste collection for residents in Fermanagh and Omagh in Northern Ireland

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council are diverting food waste from landfill and turning waste into a resource. The food waste that is collected is processed to create energy by Granville Eco Park via an anaerobic digestion process. It has significant carbon saving benefits, reducing greenhouse gases, in particular methane. Find out more.

Sustainable innovation & design used for campus buildings in Enniskillen

Aerial view of the New Erne Campus at South West College in Enniskillen in Northern Ireland.

The brief for building Erne Campus at South West College in Enniskillen was to achieve a building with world class teaching and learning facilities. The college felt it was incumbent on them to act on the climate change imperative to aim for the highest international environmental standards in sustainable innovation and design. The campus is now complete and open – find out how they went about this and how it’s impacted their approach to new builds.

Trees for bees in Fermanagh & Omagh

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is helping pollinators and people by planting heritage apple trees across the District. More at trees for bees.

Trees for the future in Fermanagh & Omagh

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is planting and managing trees for the future with the aim to store carbon, support nature, improve soils and water quality and aid flood protection. Find out more at trees for the future.

Wild about meadows in Fermanagh & Omagh

Don't Mow/Wild about Meadows Programme at Maguiresbridge, County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland.
Don’t Mow/Wild about Meadows Programme at Maguiresbridge, County Fermanagh.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council (FODC) is ‘Wild about Meadows’ and is championing the national ‘Don’t Mow, Let it Grow’ campaign at over 35 locations across the district including Arleston Park in Omagh and Racecourse Lough in Enniskillen, as part of Council’s ongoing commitment to Biodiversity Action in the district. See how they went about it and their tips at wild about meadows.

Leave no trace’ school awareness programme in Fermanagh & Omagh

This programme from Fermanagh and Omagh District Council includes a mix of educational and recreational activities to bring a fun and a new learning experience of the Leave No Trace Seven Principles to primary school children to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation. More at leave no trace school awareness programme.

Bangor Council provides produce to foodbanks/ crisis kitchens

Fresh produce from the Walled Garden in Bangor, Northern Ireland

Since the Bangor Castle’s Walled Garden began growing vegetables, they have always been sold to the public with donations going to the elected Mayor’s charities each year. However during the pandemic vegetables grown in the walled garden were donated to local foodbanks and crisis kitchens and was open to the public to inspire them to grown their own veggies.

Ards and North Down in bloom

Ards and North Down In Bloom Community Competitions were launched in 2020 to encourage everyone who lives or works in the Borough to think about their local environment and how attractive flowers, plants, trees and gardens can enhance it. Find out more.

Rewilding Ards and North Down

Ards & North Down Council have taken some significant steps in the last couple of years to benefit our Borough’s biodiversity by converting approximately 21,700m2 of closely mown amenity grasslands to managed grassland habitats, capable of supporting a much more diverse range of floral species, pollinators, and insects.

As well as altering their grassland management regime under the rewilding scheme, they’ve also taken substantial steps towards a more sustainable annual planting schedule. It’s proved to be significantly less expensive and produces displays of greater impact with greater longevity. Species in these mixes are specifically chosen for their pollinator-friendly flowers. Find out more at rewilding Ards and North down.

Using solar panels on bin lorries in Ards & Northdown

One of the bin lorries in Ards and North Down Borough with solar panels, in Northern Ireland
One of the bin lorries in Ards and North Down Borough with solar panels.

Ards & Northdown Borough Council researched using solar technology on vehicles, to reduce fuel consumption, financial cost and carbon emissions of their fleet vehicles and trialled this new system on three of the councils younger bin lorries (RCVs). The advantage of this system is that it can be retrofitted onto existing vehicles without the need for high capital investment on new vehicles. Read about the savings they’ve made at RCV solar panels.

School uniform re-use in Antrim & Newtownabbey

Any family can avail of the scheme in the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council area. The scheme is NOT means tested. This means that you don’t need to “qualify” or provide proof of income. In fact, you are contributing to recycling by using the scheme. If a scheme is over-stocked (which is often the case) these uniforms may go to waste. It is much better that these items are collected and re-used by families. Find out more.

Changing to solar panels at Ballyclare Leisure Centre

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has a number of leisure centres with energy-intensive facilities that incorporate swimming pools and fitness machines. As a result, their leisure centres are often subject to significant power demands. They recently installed 30 solar panels to the large south facing roof of the
Sixmilewater Leisure Centre and to date has saved 9692kWh and over two tonnes of CO2.

Ulster Farmers’ Union climate change competition

Trent Brown Winner of the Ulster Farmers' Union farming climate change competition in Northern Ireland
Trent Brown Winner of the UFU farming climate change competition

In Jan 2021, Trent Brown was named the overall winner of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) and Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU) climate change competition. Trent lives on a farm consisting of 100 cows and 8,000 laying hens and has recognised the ways in which farming activities can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. He has undertaken a number of measures to ensure that this is reduced by increasing efficiency of his herd and farming practices.

Don’t mow let it grow in Derry & Strabane

An example of how to reduce carbon emissions and address biodiversity loss. Council selected initially 10 large green spaces to change the grass management at these sites, to create species rich grasslands, to reverse the decline in pollinators. Council invested in specialist machinery that cuts & lifts the grass. The change in grass management resulted in Council reducing its grass cutting from 15 times a year to once a year. This was extended in the second year to 11 large green spaces and 23 cemetery sites. More at don’t mow let it grow.

Alternatives to oil fired boilers in County Fermanagh

The HANDIHEAT pilot demonstration aims to explore the potential of improved energy efficiency and low carbon heating solutions for six homes in Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh. This pilot will evaluate a combination of hybrid heating and electric generation and storage installations in these properties, including oil boiler with air source heat pumps; solar photovoltaic panels and battery storage systems as well as energy efficient insulation measures.

Data from the pilot will be analysed to assess the suitability of low carbon and hybrid options as alternatives to oil fired boilers, which are still the predominant fuel source currently being installed in Northern Ireland.

Connecting all stakeholders interested in hydrogen technologies

Several European projects have been developed aiming to increase the awareness of hydrogen in the European communities. However, many obstacles are hindering the full integration of these technologies. One of the main barriers to overcome is how to connect stakeholders, end-users, policymakers, and communities interested in hydrogen technologies.

GenComm, SEAFUEL, and HUGE present a unique Hydrogen Triple Alliance aiming to secure wider reach, extend to other communities, and combine data from their green hydrogen project – the first cross-Interreg hydrogen partnership of its kind. More at Gencomm.

Native Oyster Restoration in Bangor

Oyster that's native to Northern Ireland
Oyster that’s native to Northern Ireland.

Ulster Wildlife’s mission is to create a future where nature, on land and at sea, is valued protected, connected and restored. Their latest project in Bangor Marina will reverse the loss of the once abundant native oyster in our local seas. More at native oyster restoration.

Peatland restoration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Northern Ireland’s peatlands will be important in helping tackle climate change but only if we look after them. Drained, cut for turf, over-grazed, invaded by rhododendrons and damaged by atmospheric pollution, our bogs are struggling – but we know how to fix them. Find out how Ulster Wildlife together with various partners in the
Collaborative Action for the Natura Network (CANN) are going about this.

Find out more about the CANN Project which is a cross-border environment project that will improve the condition of protected habitats and support priority species in Northern Ireland, Ireland and Scotland, allowing the region to meet key EU biodiversity targets.

Savings achieved by diverting food from landfill in Ards & Northdown

‘Your Recycling Pays’, is an initiative by Ards and North Down Borough Council through the
Recycling Community Investment Fund (RCIF).  RCIF was created from the monetary savings achieved by diverting food from landfill.

Ards & North Down Green Tourism Network

This is a group of likeminded businesses striving to make Ards and North Down a green destination. Find out about the programme for local businesses that provides an opportunity to get a green health check at
Ards and North Down green tourism network.

Holywell DiverseCity Community Partnership roof garden

This project raises awareness about the importance of gardening for the environment and food security through the creation of a roof garden in Derry-Londonderry. Find out how this project is engaging with young people at Holywell DCCP roof garden.

Belfast City – one million trees

Working with schools, community groups and businesses to make Belfast City a greener place. More at
Belfast City one million trees.

Restoring NI’s largest expanse of blanket bog in Antrim

Garron Plateau is Northern Ireland’s largest intact area of peat blanket bog. ‘Cooperation Across Borders for Biodiversity Project’ (CABB) are working to restore and enhance it because the bog holds an astounding estimated 6 million tonnes of carbon, so it is crucial for mitigating climate change, and provides water to 14,000 households.

New furniture items from old in Derry/ Londonderry

New 2 You takes your unwanted old furniture and electrical items and makes them into something new. They rescue what might be wasted and create a whole new item for someone to take home.

Greenisland allotment gardens

The Mid and East Antrim Borough Council set up the Greenisland Allotment Gardens, following requests from local residents for wider access to local green areas. Its popularity led to more funding, not only to maintain the allotment gardens but also to upgrade the space. Find out what they’ve learnt along the way.

Information on the ‘Carbon Stories’ was gathered by NILGA for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. NILGA is the “go to” body for councils in Northern Ireland.

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