5. Climate Change and Environment

Dúntadate_range26 Iúil, 2021, 9:00am - 4 D.F., 2021, 4:00pm

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Climate change, the rise in average global temperature and associated extreme weather events owing to increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the planet’s atmosphere, is one of the greatest challenges facing society. Its impacts on our environment, society and economy are becoming more frequent and severe year-on-year. Unfortunately, Ireland’s climate is changing in line with international trends and this is projected to continue and intensify into the future. We are now at a crossroads where proactive climate action is required across all sectors to reduce the rate and minimise the impact of climate change.


Cork City has first-hand experience of the impacts of climate change with flooding, snowfall, heatwaves and storms affecting our communities, businesses, biodiversity, infrastructure and transport network in greater regularity over the last decade. We need to reduce our carbon footprint and put measures in place to make Cork a more climate resilient City.


Climate and the Environment is a cross-cutting theme that transcends all chapters of this Development Plan. The Development Plan seeks to secure compact growth and, in the process, deliver more sustainable, liveable, integrated communities and neighbourhoods. This underlying principle will help bring about climate mitigation by reducing the need to travel and supporting more sustainable transportation choices, maximising brownfield development opportunities and enabling increased investment in green and blue infrastructure, biodiversity enhancement, community and recreational facilities, flood protection and renewable/low carbon energy.


Actions that tackle climate change and environment degradation often help to protect and enhance the environment. These, together with more considered use of natural resources, form a major part of climate action. This Chapter contains climate and environment action measures which complement and integrate with the Core Strategy, Strategic Objective 4 and other chapters of the Plan and wider strategies at a national, regional and local level. It addresses the following considerations in turn:
• International, National and Regional Context
• Cork City Climate and Environmental Action: Local Strategies and Commitments
• Energy Efficiency and Use of Resources
• Renewable and Low Carbon Energy
• Sustainable Urban Drainage and Green
and Blue Infrastructure
• Scheme Sustainability Statements
• Cross-Cutting Climate Change and Environment Policy Objectives

International, National and Regional Context


In an international context, there is a long history of policy and framework initiatives focusing on climate change. These date back over three decades and include the United Nations ‘Framework Convention on Climate Change’ (1992), the Kyoto Protocol (1997), the European Union Adaptation Strategy (2013), the Paris Agreement (2015) and the United Nations ‘Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ (2015) which lists the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which provide a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future. SDG No. 13 specifically addresses climate action by requiring ‘urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by regulating emissions and promoting developments in renewable energy’.

Diagram 5.1: Making Cork a more climate resilient City - an overview of climate mitigation and adaption measures.

In addition, the European Union Directive on Energy Efficiency (2018) which lists a set of binding measures to help the EU reach a minimum 32.5% energy efficiency target by 2030 and the European Union Renewable Energy Directive (2018) which sets a binding renewable energy target for the EU for 2030 of at least 32%.


In December 2019 the European Commission published the European Green Deal which confirms an overarching goal for Europe’s Economy and Society to become climate neutral by 2050 with an intention for the goal to be enshrined in legislation (the ‘European Climate Law’) in 2021.


These international legislative and policy initiatives have influenced and will continue to influence the response to climate change at a national, regional and local level. While relatively small in terms of scale and population in an international context, Cork City must continue to play its role in achieving these shared objectives to address climate change. Cork City Council will work with partners and be guided by a range of national, European and international good practice in the area of climate change adaptation and climate change mitigation. The scale of the city means that we are in a position to pilot various initiatives and innovations aimed to address climate change.


In December 2015, the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 came into force and it enshrined the national objective of transitioning to a low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy up to 2050. This provided the statutory footing for both National Mitigation Plan (2017; but it was later quashed by the Supreme Court on 31 July 2020) the National Adaptation Framework (2018) which requires Local Authorities to prepare their own Climate Change Adaptation Strategies and identified 12 sectors requiring the preparation of Sectoral Climate Change Adaptation Strategies.


The Government published the Climate Action Plan in 2019 which lists 183 actions across 12 sectors aimed at reducing Ireland’s carbon emissions by 30% between 2021 and 2030 and net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. On 23 March 2021 to coincide with the publication of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021 and its renewed carbon emission reduction ambitions over the period to 2030 (see below), the Government published ‘Interim Climate Actions 2021’. These interim actions include outstanding actions from the Climate Action Plan 2019, actions that follow-on from those completed in Climate Action Plan 2019, and other new actions including delivery of the Programme for Government commitments. A new national Climate Action Plan is under preparation in the meantime.


The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021 is expected to come into force later in 2021. The Draft Bill seeks to establish a legally binding, national commitment to secure a 51% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and to net zero by no later than 2050. It confirms an intention for the Government to prepare a new national Climate Action Plan in 2021 and for the plan to be then updated annually. One of the draft provisions within the Bill includes the requirement for Local Authorities to prepare Climate Action Plans (CAPs) for their administrative areas addressing climate mitigation and adaptation measures within 12-months of the Minister making such a request and then updating the CAPs every 5-years.


National Strategic Outcome 8 ‘Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy and Climate Resilient Society’ of the National Planning Framework confirms the role that spatial planning plays in supporting climate adaptation and mitigation measures.


The Southern Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES, 2020) identifies three priority areas addressing climate change and transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy and Society: Decarbonisation; Resource Efficiency; and Climate Resilience.


Regional Planning Objective 56 (low carbon economy) requires local authorities to include objectives in statutory land use plans to promote energy conservation, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources while Regional Policy Objective 98 supports the development of a Regional Renewable Energy Strategy.


The Climate Action Regional Office (CARO) for the Atlantic Seaboard South Region, which is hosted by Cork County Council, assists constituent local authorities to prepare and implement climate change adaptation strategies and it is mandated to support and coordinate the work of the local authorities on climate action across all functions, services and activities.

Cork City Climate and Environmental Action: Local Straategies & Commintments


In 2016, Cork City became a signatory to the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, a movement by local and regional authorities to address climate change. This movement now comprises over 10,000 cities that account for almost one billion people. The Council later prepared the Cork City Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP, 2018) as part of our commitment under the Covenant of Mayors and the implementation of the plan remains on-going.


In September 2019 Cork City Council adopted the Cork City Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. Since then, Cork City Council became the first local authority in the country to establish a dedicated Climate Action Committee; the city council invested in the largest fleet of electric vehicle in the local authority sector in Ireland; continues to invest in energy retrofitting of public sector housing; and is has invested in infrastructure and pedestrianisation that support sustainable modes of transport. These initiatives and achievements represent progress in city-wide climate action and this Development Plan seeks to build on these successes and facilitate more momentum over the period to 2028 and beyond.


Cork City Council will work with the Government, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), the Southern Regional Assembly (SRA), the Climate Action Regional Office (CARO), Energy Cork, leading specialists including our universities and our communities to implement innovations and behavioural change initiatives designed to address climate change.


Cork City Council will identify a pilot Decarbonising Zone within the city as per Action 25c of the Government’s Interim Climate Actions 2021. 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. The mitigation measures can include a range of technologies and measures addressing electricity, heat, transport, building energy efficiency, carbon sequestration, energy storage etc. The Zone must at a minimum reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 7% per annum from 2021 to 2030 (a 51% reduction over the decade) which is in line with the Climate Bill. It will become a demonstrator area, with potential to roll-out the initiative to other parts of the City as part of an evolving process where lessons learnt will form a key factor in the evolution of the initiative.


Cork City Council will lead on implementing the Decarbonising Zone in partnership with key stakeholders and all development proposals within the identified Decarbonising Zone will be expected to comply with and contribute to the overall strategy and measures for the Zone. This is in line with national and international climate goals.


Just Transition is a concept that puts local people’s needs at the heart of challenging actions required to mitigate and adapt to combined climate and socio-economic change. The intention is to support a fairer, and faster, transition from a polluting, extractive economy to one that is regenerative and sustainable. In delivering the concept, there is a pre-requisite to involve communities in climate action decisions owing to a risk of these disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable in our communities. This is particularly relevant to the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy and the shift to more sustainable transport modes.


Cork City Council supports the principle of a just transition and, through stakeholder engagement, will seek to ensure strategic carbon-reduction and climate adaptation initiatives arising from this Development Plan are explored, evaluated and implemented having regard to the need for a just transition and the City Council will endeavour to avoid or mitigate disproportionate impacts where they may occur.

Energy Efficiency and Use of Resources


Conserving energy and using it more efficiently is an integral form of climate change mitigation. It is one of the most cost-effective ways of tackling climate change where all of society can play a role. The principle also underpins the Core Strategy which promotes more compact growth supported by a sustainable transport strategy and implementation of the 15-minute city concept. This also applies to the use of natural resources and the need to ensure that where possible, we seek to minimise waste both now and in the future.


The Cork Energy Master Plan (2019), coordinated by Energy Cork and funded by SEAI’s Sustainable Energy Communities Network, undertook a baseline energy assessment for Cork City and County. It confirms that across the study area, the residential and non residential sectors account for over 70% ofCO2 emissions. Change is therefore needed to ensure that new development and existing development, seeks to optimise energyconservation and efficiency to respond to climate change.


The requirement to achieve ‘Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings’ (NZEB) standards in new buildings is required through the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD) transposed in Ireland through Part L of the Building Regulations. In addition, Cork City Council will consider, where appropriate, further measures to incorporate planning and design-related measures that fall outside the Building Regulations and incorporate energy performance improvements in existing buildings subject to there being no conflict with other policy objectives relating to design, conservation and heritage.


In reducing our impact on the climate and environment, we must seek to also reduce waste in the construction and operation of developments. This also extends to designing buildings to be sufficiently flexible to be enable them to be adapted to suit revised needs in the future without having to demolish and start again. Waste management, including the circular economy (where materials remain in use at their highest value for the longest period of time and are then recycled or reused, thereby minimising the volume of residual waste) is addressed in greater detail in Chapter 9 Environmental Infrastructure.

Renewable and Low Carbon Energy


In transitioning away from our reliance on fossil fuels and moving towards a carbon neutral society, we must explore the use of renewable and low carbon energy technologies. Within a Cork City context, this will predominantly comprise renewable and/or low carbon energy measures to support development proposals by virtue of the prevailing urban setting. Standalone proposals will also be considered in appropriate locations in accordance with the policy objectives below and the contents of Chapter 9 Environmental Infrastructure and Chapter 11 Placemaking and Managing Development.


Renewable and low carbon energy generation can take a number of forms including, but not limited to wind; solar; geothermal; hydro; air, water and ground source heat pumps; biomass; and energy from waste.


In supporting the compact, connected and sustainable growth of Cork City to 2028, all development proposals are encouraged to consider the use of renewable energy infrastructure from the project inception stage. This should as a minimum include the exploration of roof-top solar photovoltaic panels, solar thermal collector panels and ground or air source heat pumps but depending on the locational circumstances and nature of the development proposal, there will be opportunities to consider other forms of renewable and low carbon energy generation.


The national emissions reductions targets set out in the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021 will necessitate multifaceted strategies to decarbonise the energy sector. The MaREI Report, ‘Our Climate Neutral Future Zero by 50’ (March 2021) forecasts that for the sector to reach zero net carbon emissions by 2050, approximately 25 GW of renewable electricity capacity by 2050 compared to the 4.5 GW capacity today.


Therefore, in addition to supporting renewable and low carbon energy as a component part of development schemes, the development of standalone renewable/low carbon energy projects will be supported at appropriate locations where there will be no significant adverse impacts on the receiving environment in terms of amenity, flood risk and water quality, transport safety (including air travel), built, natural and cultural heritage, biodiversity and landscape character.


This could extend to small scale wind, biomass generators, anaerobic digestion plants and other energy from waste technologies and ground mounted solar panels at a utility scale. Renewable and low carbon energy generation also has the potential to assist in supporting the rural economy and safely converting agricultural waste to energy at a local scale through anaerobic digestion facilities.


Though limited by its predominantly urban setting, Cork City will work with stakeholders in renewable energy research and delivery to assist in realising plans to decarbonise the energy sector in the region and nationally.


In accommodating more compact and sustainable patterns of development, Cork City Council will assess the feasibility to deliver district heating, particularly in Cork City Docklands, Tivoli Docklands and the Cork Science and Innovation Park. District heating is a distribution network of insulated pipes that carry heat from a central source and delivers it to a number of buildings within the network. The heat source can vary and could include a facility that provides a dedicated supply to the heat network, such as a combined heat and power plant; or heat recovered from industry and urban infrastructure, or energy from waste plants.


In Ireland, the transport sector was the second largest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with road transport being responsible for 95% of emissions within the sector in 20191. In addition to delivering a more sustainable transport network in Cork City as set out in Chapter 4 Transport and Mobility, we also need to decarbonise the transport network and support greater uptake of Electric Vehicles. Cork City Council has sought to lead on transitioning towards low carbon transport and currently hosts the largest electric vehicles fleet in the local authority sector and supports the rollout of infrastructure to cater for electric vehicles across the city.


Chapter 9 Environmental Infrastructure contains development objectives on standalone, renewable energy projects within the City. These are supported in principle, but care is needed to ensure the proposals do not have significant adverse impacts on residential amenity, economic activity, the environment, biodiversity, transportation and utility services. The proposals also need to adhere to policy objectives contained elsewhere in the Development Plan.

Urban Drainage and Green and Blue Infrastructure


As climate change and the impacts from climate change gradually become more severe and unpredictable, we can expect more heavy rainfall events and more periods of extended heatwaves and drought. Cork City Council will seek to promote measures to climate-proof buildings and the wider city to better manage stormwater and solar gain, reduce impacts on biodiversity and create a more liveable and environmentally sustainable city overall as outlined below.


Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) comprise a series of water management measures designed to reduce and manage surface water (rainwater) in an environmentally sustainable way. When implemented correctly, SuDS not only help reduce the risk of localised flooding but also help to alleviate downstream flood risk. SuDS that incorporate nature-based solutions (NBS) such as green roofs, rainwater harvesting, swales, filter strips, and attenuation ponds offer the additional benefit of creating habitat and biodiversity betterment, improving water quality and greening our city. In an Irish context, the use of SuDS is still in its infancy, but the National Planning Framework (NPO 57) promotes integrated SuDS, permeable surfacing and green roofs.


There are multiple SuDS measures that can be utilised depending on site-specific circumstances.


SuDS strategies will not be uniform and will differ from site to site owing to site characteristics, location and existing constraints, such as contamination risk. In addition, some NBS solutions may not be appropriate in some cases due to the risk of transporting contamination. Care is also needed to avoid a concentration of large attenuation ponds in the vicinity of Cork Airport to reduce the risk of flocks of birds congregating.


The benefits of incorporating rainwater harvesting measures into buildings is twofold; it can assist in storing stormwater during periods of peak rainfall and reduce flows of stormwater from entering combined sewers or watercourses and secondly, it offers an accessible water resource for use in gardening, washing vehicles etc. as a more sustainable alternative to using potable water, particularly when there is strain on supply during droughts. Rainwater harvesting represents a SuDS measure, but it has wider benefits in helping to conserve water. Best practice guidance on SuDS is contained in the CIRIA SuDS Manual 2015.


Chapter 9 Environmental Infrastructure addresses water management and Objective 9.4 lists the requirements relating to SuDS that applies to all new development.


Green and Blue Infrastructure (GBI) is a term used to describe the network of natural and semi-natural spaces in a given area. It is defined by its multifunctionality and wide-ranging benefits which are discussed at length within the draft Cork City Green and Blue Infrastructure Study (2021) and Chapter 6 Green and Blue Infrastructure, Open Space and Biodiversity of the Development Plan.


Through careful planning and implementation to maximise its potential, GBI offers the following non-exhaustive list of opportunities in the context of climate change and combating degradation of the environment:
• Provision of a better-connected network of attractive, safe green spaces and corridors to entice people to walk and cycle and reduce
reliance on car use;
• A Nature Based Solution to absorb, attenuate and filter flows of surface water (rainwater);
• Sequestration of carbon / air quality improvements;
• Protection and enhancement of biodiversity; and
• Urban cooling and micro-climate mitigation.


In addition to protecting existing and providing more strategic GBI spaces as part of an integrated network, Cork City is committed to ensuring GBI provision and benefits are realised throughout the City by embedding high quality green and blue spaces at the heart of all neighbourhoods. As part of this strategy, individual development proposals must also seek to incorporate green and blue spaces to our built environment and embrace opportunities to connect with existing GBI networks.


In the context of new buildings and the retrofitting or extension of existing buildings, there will be greening opportunities through the use of green roofs or green walls. In addition to helping to enhance the visual appearance of buildings, green roofs and walls, provide climate adaptation benefits that include helping to reduce flows of stormwater, absorbing some stormwater and improving the quality of the stormwater run-off, offering insulation and thermal efficiency potential, helping to improve air quality and absorb carbon and providing biodiversity opportunities.


Although the use of green roofs may not be suitable in all cases and preference will be given to solar photovoltaic/thermal panels where there is conflict, all development proposals with flat or gently sloping rooflines, including garages, bin storage and bike storage sheds, will be encouraged to incorporate green roofs as part of an integrated SuDS strategy as per Objective 9.4 in Chapter 9 of the Development Plan.


In considering and implementing the climate and environment focused policy objectives contained in this Chapter and other Chapters of the Development Plan, applicants for large scale residential and commercial development proposals will be required to submit a Scheme Sustainability Statement with their planning application demonstrating how the proposals address the objectives (See Chapter 11 Placemaking and Managing Development).

Cross-Cutting Climate Change and Environment Policy Objectives


Tackling climate change and environment degradation is an underlying theme of this Development Plan. Table 5.1 below summarises the key policy objectives that play a key role in mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Development Plan Chapter Policy Objective Climate Change Mitigation/Adaptation Contribution
ALL Chapters

• Strategic Environmental Assessment

• Appropriate Assessment Screening

• Strategic Flood Risk Assessment

Consideration of climate change mitigation and adaptation across all of the Development Plan
Chapter 2                  Core Strategy

• The Core Strategy

• Strategic Objective 1

• Embeds the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), NPF and Southern RSES objectives into the Development Plan

• Provides for growth that is compact, balanced and sustainable (15-minute City and walkable neighbourhoods)

• Growth supported by necessary infrastructure while addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation

Chapter 3          Delivering Homes and Communities

• Strategic Objective 2

• Objective 3.4 (Compact Growth)

• Objective 3.5 (Residential Density)

• Objective 3.17 (Adaptable Community Facilities)

• Objective 3.26 (Sustainable Transport-Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities)

• Compact residential growth, brownfield first and embracing higher density opportunities

• Promotes multi-functional community facilities and maximising their adaptability

• Promotes more sustainable travel

Chapter 4          Transport and Mobility

• Strategic Objective 3

• Objective 4.4 (Active Travel)

• Transition towards more sustainable travel and less reliance on private vehicles

• Network of direct, comfortable, convenient, and safe cycle routes and footpaths across the city

• Supports and encourages infrastructure to facilitate electric vehicles

Chapter 5              Climate and Environment Strategic Objective 4  
Chapter 6                Green and Blue Infrastructure, Open Space & Biodiversity

• Strategic Objective 5

• Objective 6.1 (GBI Study and Strategy)

• Objectives 6.5 and 6.6 (Trees, Urban Woodland, Rivers, Waterways and Wetlands)

• Objective 6.7 (Carbon Sequestration)

• Objectives 6.9 and 6.11 (Landscape and Development)

• Objective 6.19 (Parks and Open Space)

• Objective 6.22 (Natural Heritage and Biodiversity)

• Multi-functional strategic GBI Network across the city

• Cork City GBI Study

• Support for carbon sequestration initiatives

• Protection and enhancement of landscape, trees and woodland, rivers, waterways, wetlands and associated habitats

• Specific GBI Projects

• New Heritage and Biodiversity Plan

Chapter 7          Economy and Employment

• Strategic Objective 6

• Objective 7.2 (Economic Growth and Diversity)

• Objective 7.8 (Mobility Management Plans)

• Objectives 7.21, 7.22 and 7.24 (Sustainable Rural Economy and Tourism)

• Objective 7.37 (Vibrant and Mixed-Use Centres)

• Sustainable economic growth and transition to low carbon economy

• Focusing growth within existing urban area, adjoining existing employment facilities or where there is a specific locational requirement

• Mobility Management Plans

• Rural diversification and food production

• Sustainable tourism

• Vibrant and mixed-use retail centres where public transport accessibility is optimised

• A just transition

Chapter 8            Heritage, Arts and Culture

• Strategic Objective 7

• Objective 8.18 (Reuse and Refurbishment Historic Buildings)

• Protection, retention and the reuse of historic buildings
Chapter 9 Environmental Infrastucture and Management

• Strategic Objective 8

• Objectives 9.2, 9.4, 9.5, 9.6 and 9.7 (Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems / storm water)

• Objectives 9.8, 9.9 and 9.10 (Flood Protection)

• Objective 9.11 (Waste Management)

• Objective 9.14 (Renewable Energy)

• Objective 9.16 (Cork Smart Gateway)

• Objective 9.17 (Air Quality)

• Circular economy principles

• Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS)

• Improving water quality / reducing water pollution risk

• Flood risk management

• Renewable/clean energy production

• Sustainable waste management

• Cork Smart Gateway

• Air Quality

Chapter 10                  Key Growth Areas and Neighbourhood Development Sites • All • Site or area-specific actions or requirements identified where appropriate.
Chapter 11 Placemaking and Managing Development

• Strategic Objective 9

• All Standards and Guidance

• Climate-resilient placemaking

• Greening the City

• Travel Plans

• Presumption in favour of reusing and refurbishing existing buildings

• Maximum parking standards and minimum parking / charging standards for electric vehicles

• Cycle to work facilities and bicycle parking

• Sustainable water management and flood risk

• Renewable energy

• Waste management

• Scheme Sustainability Statements

Table 5.1: Key Policy objectives that play a key role in mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Photo Location: Marina Park

"This is one of my favourite locations in Cork because I love bringing my dog here to run around. There’s lots of nice wildlife here and I love that bee corridors have been left grow. It’s the only local area to play frisbee or hurling with my mum. There’s a homemade swing on the tree which I love going on. It’s very peaceful but even better now because theres no noisy traffic."



To support transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable future.
To support the circular economy. Cork City Council is committed to the implementation of measures to support the achievement of national policies and targets for climate mitigation, including the Government’s policy under Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future 2015-30 and Climate Action Plan 2019, National Mitigation Plan, National Adaptation Framework: Planning for a Climate Resilient Ireland. At the time of preparation of this Draft Plan, the Government agreed to advance the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021 to support Ireland’s transition to Net Zero and achieve a climate neutral economy by 2050.

Proposals for new development in Cork City will strive to reduce carbon footprints by carbon emission reductions, sustainable energy consumption, sustainable transport, use of renewable energy sources, green construction methods including passive solar design, and flood risk mitigation and adaptation and use of nature-based solutions, through design, layout, implementation and operation.

A statement commensurate with the nature and scale of the development proposal will be required to accompany planning applications demonstrating how climate resilience has been considered and implemented at all stages in the development process.

Objective 5.1


Objective 5.2

A Climate Resilient City

To create a more climate resilient, low carbon and environmentally sustainable City where our stakeholders and communities participate in, and benefit from integrated climate and environment action measures which also offer other social, economic and biodiversity benefits.


International and
National Climate Change
Legislation, Policy and

To support and where possible surpass the implementation of international policy and national legislation, policy, sectoral adaptation strategies and guidance on climate change in Cork City including the commitment within the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021 to secure a 51% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and to net zero by 2050.


Objective 5.3


Objective 5.4

International Climate
Change Research and

To promote Cork City as a location for climate change research and investment.


Coordinated Regional
Action on Climate

To support the Southern Regional Assembly, the Climate Action Regional Office (CARO) and relevant stakeholders in preparing a Regional Renewable Energy Strategy.


Objective 5.5


Objective 5.6

Climate and
Environmental Action

To implement the actions and initiatives contained within the Cork City Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (2018), Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (2019), Climate Action Charter (2019), The Cork Energy Masterplan (2019) and their successor publications over the lifetime of the Development Plan including actions arising from the Government’s ‘Interim Climate Actions 2021’, the proposed National Climate Action Plan 2021 and future local Climate Action Plans.


Climate Change Projects

To support and encourage opportunities for renewable energy, climate change adaptation or climate change mitigation research and pilot projects across the City.


Objective 5.7


Objective 5.8

Sustainable Energy

To support SEAI Sustainable Energy Community initiatives and Energy Cork in working with local communities to deliver local energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.


Cork City Decarbonising

To lead in the identification and implementation of a Decarbonising Zone within Cork City through engagement with local communities and other relevant stakeholders.


Objective 5.9


Objective 5.10

A Just Transition

In exploring, evaluating and supporting strategic climate mitigation and adaptation measures, Cork City Council will seek to ensure the principle of a just transition is taken into account through targeted stakeholder engagement as part of the decision-making process to minimise, avoid or mitigate risk of members of our communities being unduly disadvantaged by reason of the step-change pursued in the interest of climate and environmental action.


Energy Conservation
and Efficiency

To support and help create high levels of energy conservation and energy efficiency in both new and existing buildings.


Objective 5.11


Objective 5.12

Energy Efficiency

New development proposals are expected to maximise energy efficiency through location, siting, orientation, layout, design, stormwater drainage and landscaping. This includes seeking to optimise energy efficiency through thermal insulation, passive ventilation and cooling and passive solar design.


Energy Use Management

Development proposals are encouraged to incorporate best practice in technologies that help reduce energy use or enables the monitoring and management of energy use.


Objective 5.13


Objective 5.14

Waste Management –
Construction and
Operation of Development

All development proposals should minimise waste and maximise the recycling and re-use opportunities during the construction and operation phases.


Adaptable Design

To encourage the incorporation of adaptable design into all new all developments to facilitate their adaptation to alternative use, layout or user requirements in the future if required.


Objective 5.15


Objective 5.16

Lifetime Adaptable

To promote and assist in the provision of lifetime adaptable homes to meet the needs of all society.


Renewable and
Low Carbon Energy

To encourage development proposals to consider use of renewable energy infrastructure from the project inception stage with planning applications for larger development schemes required to demonstrate how renewable energy infrastructure have been considered through Scheme Sustainability Statements (See Scheme Sustainability Statements in Chapter 11 Placemaking and Managing Development).


Objective 5.17


Objective 5.18

Heat Pumps

To support the use of heat pumps in new build residential, commercial and public buildings taking into account amenity, conservation and heritage considerations.


Roof-Top Solar

To support the incorporation of photovoltaic and/or solar thermal collector panels for electricity generation/storage and water heating on new residential, commercial and public buildings taking into account amenity, glint and glare, conservation and heritage considerations.


Objective 5.19


Objective 5.20

Sustainable Energy
Generation – Standalone

To support sustainable energy generation projects and pilot schemes where such proposals adhere to any relevant national or local guidelines and guidance and do not significantly impact on the surrounding environment including biodiversity, water quality and flood risk, air quality, noise pollution, transport safety (including air travel), natural, built and cultural heritage, landscape character and residential amenity.


Cork City District Energy
Action Plan

To lead on the preparation of the Cork City District Energy Action Plan in partnership with Energy Cork and in consultation with the SEAI, SRA and CARO.


Objective 5.21


Objective 5.22

District Heating

To support the delivery of district heating and be guided by the proposed Policy Framework for the Development of District Heating in Ireland and in time, the Cork City District Energy Action Plan. All future planning applications for development schemes of 50 or more homes or 1,000sqm of commercial floorspace at the following strategic locations will be required to be supported by an assessment of district heating opportunities and how these will be taken forward as part of the development unless it is demonstrated to be technically unfeasible or unviable:
• City Docklands
• Tivoli
• The Cork Science and Innovation Park


Electric Vehicles

To encourage and support the use of Electric Vehicles (EV) and Light Electric Vehicles (LEV) and support the provision of charging infrastructure for EVs on-street, within carparks and in new developments.


Objective 5.23


Objective 5.24

Rainwater Harvesting

To encourage all development proposals to include rainwater harvesting measures.


Green and Blue

a. To support the strategic role that Green and Blue Infrastructure plays in facilitating a more climate resilient city.
b. All development proposals will be expected to fully explore and incorporate Green and Blue Infrastructure as an integral component of the scheme.
c. To support communities in the development of local scale Green and Blue Infrastructure projects.




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