Climate Change & Sustainability

Climate Change & Sustainability

The Elected Members passed a motion on climate change in September 2019. We are committed to becoming a carbon-neutral organisation and are also working with partners to reduce our borough’s net carbon emissions.

As a Council, we have ensured that our activities are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and we have measured and reduced our carbon footprint every year since our formation in 2015. We are are proud to hold the highest environmental performance for a Council in the 2021 NI Environmental Benchmarking Survey.

We continue to protect our biodiversity to help to reduce the impacts of climate change and involve our local communities, to work together to shape our borough and create a better future for all.

Our plan to mitigate and adapt to climate change

Council is currently developing a Climate and Sustainability Strategy and Action Plan that will include a target date for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to reach net-zero emissions. The strategy will include Council’s climate adaptation and mitigation plans and align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Through these external and internal plans, we will:

  • reduce our own carbon footprint
  • reduce the borough’s pollution and noise
  • reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions from buildings 
  • promote cycling, walking and public transport
  • promote a green economy
  • build resilience to flooding and other climate risks 
  • plant 58,000 trees by 2024
  • promote and support clean transport technology and infrastructure
  • help our residents to reduce their carbon footprints
  • use green procurement

Council reduces its impact on the environment year on year through its Environmental Management System, accredited to the international standard ISO14001. Annual reports are available to view in our Environment Reporting section.

Partnership actions to date

On our journey to tackle climate change, we are:

  • working in partnership with Climate NI  to prepare a Climate Adaption Plan
  • working with the Mid and East Antrim Regional Community Resilience Group
  • members of climate-related networks including APSE Energy [all links open in a new window]
  • continuing to deliver the MEA4Trees campaign
  • work in partnership with local body Sustainable NI to develop Council’s Climate and Sustainability Strategy and Action Plan to become carbon neutral

We are leading by example through:

  • establishing an All-Party Climate Change Working Group
  • resourcing a role in the organisation dedicated to climate and sustainability management
  • developing a Climate Adaption Plan for Mid and East Antrim to ensure our services and communities are more resilient to the impacts of climate change, such as flooding, storms and heat
  • producing an annual Environmental Performance and Carbon Footprint Report 
  • buying electricity from renewable sources
  • future proofing our fleet by replacing with low emission vehicles where practical and economical. We have three electric vans in the fleet

How our Climate Change and Sustainability Policy will integrate in Council

UN Sustainable Development Goals
Future Climate Legislation Targets
NI Programme for Government
Mid & East Antrim Local Development Plan
Mid & East Antrim Community Plan
Mid & East Antrim Corporate Plan
delivered by
Mid & East Antrim Climate and Sustainability Policy
supported by
Environmental Management System
Energy Strategy
Biodiversity Strategy
Annual Business Plans
Council Policies and Procedures
Climate Adaption Plan Agile Framework

How we make decisions

We set up an All-Party Working Group with one member from each of the seven political parties on the council. The group meets quarterly to make recommendations. Members of the All-Party Working Group include:

  • Councilor Gregg McKeen (Chair)
  • Alderman Billy Ashe
  • Councilor Bobby Hadden
  • Councilor Julie Frew
  • Councilor Eugene Reid
  • Councilor Andrew Wilson
  • Alderman Noel Williams
  • Alderman Robin Cherry
  • Councilor Beth Adger
  • Councilor Danny Donnelly
  • Councilor James Henry
  • Councilor Rodney Quigley

A representative from Council’s Climate Working Group attends the quarterly NI All-Party Working Group hosted by Sustainable NI and the Green Party, in order to share good practice.

How you can help

Making changes like the food you eat and the way that you travel could reduce your carbon footprint. These 16 Steps on the 'Count us in' website have been selected with experts from the UN Environment Programme based on three criteria:

  • the impact on your personal carbon pollution;
  • the power to influence leaders; and
  • the ability to involve everyone.

If you need to get in touch E: climate@midandeastantrim.gov.uk

What was COP26?

For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits – called COPs – which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’.

In that time, climate change has gone from being a fringe issue to a global priority.

This year’s summit was the 26th annual summit – ‘COP26’ with the UK as President, and took place in Glasgow.

In the run up to COP26 the UK continued to work with every nation to reach agreement on how to tackle climate change. World leaders arrived in Scotland, alongside tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens for twelve days of talks.

What did we do locally to support COP26?

COP26 Regional Climate Roadshow Event

We worked in partnership with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council to deliver a COP26 Regional Climate Roadshow event on Monday 8 November 2021.

We invited guest speakers from Met Office, Climate NI, Rivers Agency, GenComm, Energia, Natural World Products, Bryson Recycling, MyNI, Mayors and Council officers.

The event covered four main themes:

1.       Understanding Climate Change

2.       Reimagining Energy and Fuel – a Local Perspective

3.       What Councils are Doing to Address Climate Change

4.       Supporting and Leading Behavioural Change

The event was a great success and was recorded below so that you can view it at a time that suits you.

Mid and East Antrim Climate Adaption Video

At the COP26 Regional Climate Roadshow event, the Mayor also launched our new Climate Adaption video below.

The video highlights the impact extreme weather is already having on Council operations and communities and how we can be better prepared for this in the future.

What are we planning to deliver?

Wrightbus and Kilroot Energy Park being part of the Zero Carbon Bus Tour

We are working with Planet Mark and the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA) to deliver the Northern Ireland leg of the National Zero-Carbon bus tour, promoting COP26 messaging and gathering case studies for international promotion via the carboncopy.eco website. The bus will arrive in Glasgow for the start of COP26.

Council’s Climate Change Case Studies

During COP26, we showcased a number of programmes, projects, operational changes and community engagement initiatives to demonstrate our commitment to reducing our carbon emissions and to ensure our residents are prepared for future climate-related events.

Read our COP26 Case Studies & Watch Video

MEA4Trees

Council has contributed its MEA4Trees campaign toward a regional video prepared by the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA) - to be showcased at COP26. The MEA4Trees campaign was launched during Tree Week in 2019 and involves Council working with partner organisations and the community to plant 58,000 native trees over 5 years - this is one for each household in the Borough. Council have already planted over 45,000 trees in the first 2 years of delivering the project and are working with the Woodland Trust to ensure these are quality native stock.

Regional Community Resilience Group

The Regional Community Resilience Group (RCRG) was formed in 2013 to help local communities prepare for and respond to weather related emergencies.

The group brings together Multi-Agency Partner Organisations from government, utilities and the voluntary sector to work for and with Communities at Risk of Severe Weather.

This video showcases the work of the Regional Community Resilience Group who bring together many agencies and people to deal with the impact of climate change in local areas. 

Glasgow Declaration

On behalf of the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration secretariat Nourish Scotland recently presented the below certificate of signatory status for Mid and East Antrim.

It is accompanied by their thanks for Mid and East Antrim’s work integrating food systems policy to address the climate crisis.

Nourish Scotland look forward to engaging with us in the new year about the path forward from COP26 for both the Glasgow Declaration and its signatories.

Visit our Environmental Reporting page