Our climate is changing.

We need to reduce our emissions to limit these changes.

Unfortunately, no matter how much we reduce our emissions, we are locked in to a certain amount of change.

Therefore, we need to take rapid action to reduce emissions, whilst preparing for the inevitable impacts of climate changes – this preparation is called climate change ‘adaptation’. 

Climate adaptation – what is Council doing?

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.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council form part of this regional group.

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.

Council is working in partnership with Climate NI to develop a Climate Adaption Plan for Mid and East Antrim by March 2023.

Below are examples of some of the ongoing work being delivered to adapt to changing climatic conditions:

Tree Planting - MEA4Trees

58,000 trees planted between Dec 2019 and April 2022 in partnership with the Woodland Trust NI.

Funding has been approved for a ‘Climate Canopy - 1 Million Trees’ which would see tree planting efforts continue across the borough and provide carbon offset opportunities for local business over the next 10 years.

Part of this programme of works included the recent planting of our new Carbon Code Woodland at Carnfunnock Country Park, Larne.

These projects will not only reduce carbon emissions, but will stabilize soils and reduce flooring risk.

ArcPro Climate Project

Officers are developing an internal interactive digital map containing Spatial NI layer datasets, along with Council-owned layer datasets to inform strategic decisions in respect to climate and sustainability.

This will allow development of a public-facing digital map, which can be interrogated by residents and businesses to understand how forecasted extreme weather events can impact on where they live and work and what support is available through Council, the Regional Community Resilience Group and local community resilience groups.

Council is a member of the Regional Community Resilience Group (RCRG), set up in 2013 to bring together a range of agencies including DfI Rivers and Roads, NI Water, Met Office, Red Cross and others.

This group aims to build resilience in communities and across sectors in relation to being prepared for, responding to and adapting to the impact of severe weather.

Council set up a network of local community resilience hub groups across the borough.

This empowers residents to come together to plan, prepare and react to extreme weather events, to build resilience and to ensure there is a network of people with the skill set required to address the impacts from these events.

To aid these resilience groups, Council as part of the multi-agency group, have developed the #BeReadyNI communications which include handy go-to plans on flooding, severe weather and household emergency life-saving plans.

Council’s Corporate and Community Resilience Officer, and her team have been working on a community resilience pilot in partnership with Derry and Strabane District Council.

This has been funded through the RCRG. Council is working with existing community resilience groups, with fieldwork now concluded.

The outcome will be a toolkit that local community groups can use to build their resilience capability with support from the multi-agencies.

It will look at what inherent skills a community has, people’s willingness to work together, knowledge and resource sharing, and will examine people’s connection to their local place and wider community.

Local Community Resilience Plans - Across Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, for local people who have experienced emergency situations, such as flooding or snow, have been supported to come together with a range of agencies to make sure their communities are prepared for emergencies in the future.

Local volunteers in Ahoghill, Broughshane, Martinstown, Rhanbuoy Park Carrickfergus and the Toome Road in Ballymena have signed up for tasks such as the distribution of sandbags, taking on the role of River Watcher or receiving weather alerts from the Met Office.

In some areas local Elected Members are also involved in this work. Members of the groups have contributed to Council’s Climate Change video and roadshows.