Lecale Conservation Youth is our association’s youth group. As a group of 20 13-18 year olds, we’re passionate about our local area and every summer we host a 10-day post-covid Climate Change Camp to empower young people with renewable energy technical knowledge and the internet and social media skills to put pressure on local authorities in NI to commit to meeting global net-zero targets.
We successfully picketed two council meetings in 2021/22, and afterwards got to speak to Council Chairperson Cathy Mason, and chair of the Finance Committee, Oonagh Hanlon, and we had Council pass meaningful targets for renewable energy projects and electric vehicle infrastructure.
We have appeared on national television twice, on BBC News, and UTV View From Stormont, as well as all our local papers.
You can see links to our media campaign events here: (coming soon)
How good is your council on renewable energy?
Summary of Northern Ireland
In Northern Ireland, we found that the Department of Finance was very helpful, providing a full breakdown of rates by council on each type of renewable energy project. In our FOIs (Freedom of Information requests) to each of our 11 councils, we found varying levels of response, rising from a lack of knowledge amongst senior council officers in regards to the financial information being sought.
Summary of Republic Of Ireland
In the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland, not every council was forthcoming with FOI requests. However, we discovered the European Directive on Environment mandates European public bodies to provide all environmental-related information to be published to a fulsome extent, at no extra cost.
Here we are on TV!