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Decarbonising Zones

Decarbonising Zones

June 2023-February 2024

A Decarbonising Zone is a specific area that has been chosen by a local authority where a range of solutions are identified to address local low carbon energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate needs. These areas across the country will act as test-beds for innovation.

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The National Climate Action Plan 2023 (CAP 23) states that each Local Authority across the country must create or update their Local Authority Climate Action Plans (LA CAP). As part of this, each Local Authority must choose at least one area to implement a Decarbonising Zone (DZ). Once they have chosen a zone, they are required to develop a Decarbonising Zone plan by February 2024.

What is a Decarbonising Zone?

“Decarbonising” - Taking carbon out of the equation completely by removing fossil fuels from electricity, heat and transport.

A Decarbonising Zone is a specific area that has been chosen by a local authority where a range of solutions are identified to address local low carbon energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate needs to contribute to national climate action targets. In other words, these areas across the country will act as test-beds for innovation with the aim of improving local communities and reducing emissions. In Dublin, all four Local Authorities have chosen their Decarbonising Zones. For example, South Dublin County Council has chosen Clondalkin, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has chosen Dún Laoghaire and Blackrock and Dublin City Council has chosen Ballymun and Ringsend.

“National Climate Targets”- The Government has committed to reduce emissions by 51% by 2030 and to reach net-zero emissions no later than 2050. The Decarbonising Zone plans must reflect these national targets at a local level.

Decarbonising Zones Plans in Action

Last year, we supported Dublin City Council with the development of the Ringsend and Ballymun Decarbonising Zones Plans to ensure that the actions needed to reach net-zero by 2050 1) reflected those living and working in these communities 2) addressed some of the most prevalent needs within the community and 3) was informed by best-in-class evidence.

The aim of this place-based approach was to ensure that the Decarbonising Zone plan is “from the community, for the community” and provided locally-based solutions to help reduce emissions as soon as possible. To ensure that happens, Codema supported Dublin City Council’s DZs with a range of best-practice actions, including the following:

  • The formation of a local “Decarbonising Zone Team” in both Ringsend and Ballymun, comprised of local community members
  • The development of an evidence-base to inform the Decarbonising Zone plan by Codema’s team of energy experts
  • Cross-sector commitment and collaboration to identify and implement actions for the Decarbonising zone
  • Wider community outreach and engagement to raise awareness of the DZ plans and provide opportunities for people to get informed on and involved in the co-creation process

This year, our team is supporting South Dublin County Council with their Decarbonising Zone, Clondalkin. We will be using a similar place-based approach to ensure that the local community are informed, engaged and included in the development of actions to support the Decarbonising Zone Plan. The plan that is developed through this engagement process has the potential to impact how the Clondalkin community go about their everyday lives. For example, how homes are heated and how safe and clean the Clondalkin area will become in the future. 

To kick off the project and to get a better picture of the Clondalkin Decarbonising Zone community, we have launched a Community Climate Action Survey to hear from the Clondalkin community about the kind of climate action they are currently taking and what they would like to see happen in the area. If you are living, working, studying or travelling around Clondalkin, make sure to complete the Community Climate Action Survey and be in with a chance to win a €50 One4All voucher! Click here for the terms and conditions of the competition

We've also created an information leaflet if you would like to find out more. 

How can I get involved and take climate action?

  • If you would like to do more to reduce emissions and save energy in your home you can borrow a Home Energy Saving Kit, available from your local library.
  • To learn more about home energy savings visit our Think Energy Hub.
  • To find out more about home energy upgrades and renewable energy solutions visit SEAI’s website.
  • There is a lot of climate and energy terminology and jargon. If you are interested in understanding terms like net-zero and greenhouse gas emissions mean why not check out our Decarbonising Zones Glossary. If you want to expand your learnings beyond the Decarbonising Zone terminology check out the Climate Jargon Buster.

Whether you are living or working in a Decarbonising Zone or not, we would love to see what accomplishments you, your business or your community have achieved in reducing emissions in your area- if you would like to share your achievements and inspire others feel free to tag us @CodemaDublin on Twitter or LinkedIn.

If you would like to know more about how we can move the entire Dublin region away from fossil fuels as soon as possible, take a look at the Zero Together initiative. Over the last two years we have been collaborating with a diverse group of people from across Dublin to co-create a vision and strategy for Dublin to meet our emission-reduction targets. We will be launching the Zero Together roadmap and website later this year. You can keep up to date by following the Zero Together Twitter and Instagram.