The engagement of citizens in all sectors of society will be necessary to achieve the ambition of becoming a net zero carbon economy and society by 2050. The national Climate Action Plan recognises that local government can play a pivotal role on citizen engagement and participation and calls on local authorities to take a leadership role. Local authorities are closest to people on the ground and in local communities. Wicklow County Council has strong working relationships with a diverse range of sectors including businesses, schools, communities groups, sport clubs and youth groups in the county. Working with all of these partners and providing a bridge to other stakeholders will be needed to mobilize participation.
The PPN established as a result of the Local Government Reform Act 2014 plays a key role mobilizing public engagement and participation, working closely with Wicklow County Council through the Climate and Biodiversity Strategic Policy Committee and on a range of climate related initiatives. Tidy Towns groups and Green Schools both have a strong focus on delivery of sustainable development projects and awareness. Wicklow’s Local Enterprise Office is working with businesses in the county to green their activities and ensure their sustainability. Wicklow is one of three counties that are piloting a programme to support Sustainable Energy Communities by taking the role of lead applicant for SEAI funding to undertake local energy master plans.
The Local Economic and Community Plan will help to ensure at policy level that development in the county is done sustainably in manner coherent with achieving a net zero carbon economy and society by 2050.
Wicklow County Council’s Environmental Awareness Office provides support to the community on delivering citizen participation.