Belfast has joined Edinburgh and Leeds in launching an ambitious plan to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions in the city by 2050.
The Belfast Climate Commission was officially launched on Friday as a joint venture between Queen’s University and Belfast City Council, bringing together academics and decision-makers.
The work is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council for the Place-Based Climate Action Network (PCAN), with the hope of translating climate policy into action on the ground.
Speaking at the launch event, Belfast Lord Mayor Daniel Baker welcomed the move to counter the “profound” impact of climate change on the city.
“It is critical that we are well prepared, and protect all of our citizens, particularly the most vulnerable,” he said.
“We must also be ambitious in the targets we set to reduce our impact on the planet. I am particularly pleased to be launching this commission today because of its focus on place-based action and on the work that we can do to ensure climate-resilient communities.”
The plan to achieve net-zero emissions is ambitious, not least there is increasing evidence we'll need to achieve this benchmark much earlier than 2050. A key technology to achieve dramatic CO2 savings is solar, which is relatively simple and fast to install. The technology is now well proven in N. Ireland with over 20,000 individual installations across the region and over 100MWp of utility-scale solar (which took less than 3 months to install once grid-connections were in place).
Although not easy, it is surprisingly simple to achieve a zero-carbon power supply for buildings. By applying solar panels to the roof, and then procuring grid-supplied electricity from a 100% renewable supplier, massive CO2 savings can be achieved. If oil and gas heating systems are then replaced with electric heating (such as Infrared or Heat Pumps), both heat and power can be net-zero. These technologies exist TODAY, are well proven and readily available.
As combustion engine cars are replaced with EV's, so transport can achieve net-zero as long as they are charged with renewable electricity (roof applied solar and clean 100% renewable grid).
An example of a rural home run entirely on solar + clean grid to achieve zero-carbon power supply since 2012. This approach is scalable to any building.
This combination of simple, proven technology underpins our work at SolarFix. If you'd like to discuss how we can enable net-zero power for you home, business or organisation please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact page.