25 August 2019
By Elaine Murphy
These days every story seems to relate to climate change, in some fashion.
Cork Senator, and member of the Oireachtas Climate Action Committee, Tim Lombard has said that Government needs to recognise the crucial role that Tidy Towns Committees could play in tackling climate breakdown.
Senator Lombard said: “Tidy Town Committees such as have been leading the way in Ireland in improving our environment for decades and are perfectly placed to raise awareness locally and take positive actions to address climate change.
“For years the hard-working volunteers of the Tidy Towns Committees have been at the forefront of protecting our local environments and this effort must be recognised.
“The Government’s Climate Action Plan includes the Tidy’ Towns ‘Climate Action and Air Quality Award’ which will be awarded later this year. This is a clear acknowledgement of the importance of Tidy Town committees in the battle against climate disaster.
“The award, sponsored by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment aims to recognise the positive contribution local communities are making in raising awareness and taking positive actions in addressing climate change and improving air quality.
“There will be four awards handed out at the annual Tidy Towns awards in September:
two prizes of €2,250 will be awarded to two Tidy Towns Committees, one from a large town/urban centre and one from a village/small town
a runner-up’s prize of €1,000 from either a large/small town
a youth award of €500 for under a team of U18s which has demonstrated the greatest contribution from either a large or small town
“I’m calling on the Government to ensure there are adequate supports in place to resource and help local Tidy Town committees to continue their great work.
“One of the simplest things that can be done to help mitigate the effects of climate change is to promote biodiversity. Tidy Towns Committees should be supported to plant wildflowers, meadows and flora that will promote bees and insects.
“The Climate Action Plan recognises that a top-down approach is necessary to effectively combat climate breakdown. This will involve each Government department doing their part, as well as industry and the agriculture sector doing their bit, but the value of local and community groups such as Tidy Towns Committees cannot be underestimated.”