The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) will hold their final Steering Committee and its Annual General Meeting for 2018 in Council Offices in Newry, Northern Ireland. The meeting will also see the UK and Ireland NFLA Annual Policy Seminar which considers key issues around the core impacts of climate change, new and old nuclear generation and the biggest issues of our time – Brexit. (1)
The NFLA is made up of four national Forums – All Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales – and this final meeting of 2018 takes place in O’Hagan House, Newry on Friday December 7th. The morning business meetings will consider all aspects of its nuclear, energy and defence policy workstreams. The AGM will elect a new NFLA Chair for 2019.
The NFLA Annual Policy Seminar will be considering the following areas of concern:
- Dr Paul Price of the An Taisce / Irish National Trust Climate Change Committee will consider the recent report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the urgency of climate action by all sections of government. What areas of rapid action are required and what are the consequences of failing to reach challenging targets for 2030 and 2050?
- Attracta Ui Bhroin Vice-Chair of the group An Claíomh Glas and a facilitator of the Environmental Law Implementation Group in the Irish Environment Network will consider why Councils and the Irish Government should be consulted and concerned with the UK’s new nuclear and legacy programmes. An Irish Government transboundary consultation on the Wylfa B development in Anglesey is currently out for discussion through Irish Councils. (2)
- NFLA Secretary Sean Morris will look at some of the impacts of the UK leaving the European Union, otherwise known as ‘Brexit’, on areas of policy it considers – the leaving of Euratom, the impact on the Irish Single Electricity Market, the promotion of renewable energy across the island of Ireland and corollary impacts on trade and defence policy. The meeting comes before the Westminster Parliament votes next week on the UK Government’s proposed ‘Brexit’ deal with the European Commission.
The meetings will include members from the four NFLA National Forums, and the afternoon seminar has been opened out to non-member authorities and environmental community groups to attend.
NFLA All Ireland Committee Co-Chair and host of the meeting, Councillor John Trainor said:
“I warmly welcome the NFLA to its annual general meetings in Newry at a crucial time in the political calendar. The alarming message of the IPCC, the consultation on the potential impacts to the island of Ireland of Wylfa B and the multifarious concerns over Brexit are amongst the most critical the islands of Ireland and Britain have ever had to deal with in some time. Our Annual Policy Seminar will give Irish councillors and those concerned over such developments an opportunity to consider what these pressing matters mean to local government. I urge councillors and council officers to attend.”
NFLA All Ireland Committee Co-Chair, Councillor Mark Dearey, who will chair the seminar panel discussion, added:
“I can’t think of a more challenging time in local government when such a number of global problems impact on the work of local Councils. It is clear to me that Councils should play a vital role in mitigating climate change as it could have such a devastating long-term impact on our local communities, as has already been seen just this year in some of the most challenging weather the island of Ireland has endured. The real and difficult impacts of a nuclear accident across the Irish Sea must also be of concern to councillors while, as an Irish border councillor, I am fully aware of the real impacts that Brexit could have here. I am looking forward to discussing these matters with fellow councillors and hearing from experts on these issues. Once again, the NFLA is providing high quality information which helps councillors to understand some of the core issues affecting us locally, nationally and globally.”
Ends – for more information please contact Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary, on 0161 234 3244.
Notes for editors:
(1) NFLA UK & Ireland Policy Seminar, Friday December 7th, Council Chamber, O’Hagan House, Monaghan Row, Newry, 12pm – 2pm (directly after morning business meetings):
The impacts on Councils of nuclear policy development, climate change and Brexit –
- Councillor John Trainor, NFLA All Ireland Forum Co-Chair – Seminar introduction
- Dr Paul Price, Dublin Institute of Technology & a member of An Taisce / Irish National Trust Climate Change Committee – What is the scale of the climate change challenge? How does Government at all levels drive a low carbon, renewables programme to help mitigate climate change?
- Attracta Ui Bhroin, Vice Chair of An Claíomh Glas and a facilitator of the Environmental Law Implementation Group in the Irish Environment Network – Why should Irish Councils and the Irish Government be consulted and concerned with the UK’s new and legacy nuclear programmes?
- Sean Morris, NFLA UK and Ireland Secretary – Potential impacts, challenges and concerns of ‘Brexit’ on UK & Ireland energy, nuclear safety and defence policy.
- Councillor Mark Dearey, NFLA All Ireland Forum – Panel discussion
A flyer for the seminar is on the NFLA website.
(2) Irish Government Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government – Transboundary Environmental Public Consultation on Wylfa B, Anglesey, Wales, November 22nd 2018