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Mar 2018 right left


Hedge Planting

Sunday 4th March
Gilford Castle, Gilford Village, Co–Armagh

Belfast Festival of Learning

Monday 5th March
Various, see programme for details


Woodland Management – Saintfield Estate

Sunday 18th March
Saintfield Estate, Saintfield


The Rivers Trust Spring Conference 2018

Wednesday 21st March
Iveagh House, Saint Stephen’s Green, Dublin


NI Allotment and Community Garden Forum

Saturday 24th March
MACCA Centre, Omagh

Easter Fun At Monkstown Wood

Saturday 24th March
Monkstown Wood, Newtownabbey
See website for details


Outdoor Recreation & Your Community

Tuesday 27th March
An Creagán Centre, County Tyrone

EU Funding for Sustainable Development – Project Ideas Lab

Wednesday 28th March
Sustainable NI, Bradford Court, Upper Galwally, Belfast BT8 6RB


Climate change

Over the past 30 years mounting scientific evidence points to human activities having significant impacts on global climatic systems, primarily due to a rapid rise in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

Climate change

Global climate change (or ‘climate disruption’) is resulting in increased instances of extreme weather events, rising sea levels, greater seasonal variations, floods and droughts. This unpredictable climate has caused people to lose their homes, harvests have failed and drinking water has become scarce, while the general health and wellbeing of populations has also been widely affected. As human activities continue to influence climate, such events are predicted to continue unless strong action is taken to address the high levels of GHGs emitted into the atmosphere. We must also adapt to the changing conditions to minimise the negative impacts.

At the highest level, the Kyoto Protocol secured commitments from 37 major industrialised countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Climate Change Act 2008, which extends to Northern Ireland, established a legislative framework for the UK to reduce its GHG emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050 and by 34% by 2020. The current NI Executive Programme for Government has set a target of a GHG reduction of at least 35% by 2025.

The Northern Ireland Climate Change Adaptation Programme was launched in January 2014, highlighting primary areas for adaptation action in Northern Ireland – flooding, water, natural environment, agriculture and forestry.

NIEL is funded by the DoE to provide support to Climate Northern Ireland, a project which operates to widen the understanding and knowledge of the impacts of climate change within Northern Ireland and promotes the adaptation actions necessary to deal with it. The group consists of representatives from central and local government, the business community, the voluntary sector and professional organisations. Follow this link to the Climate Northern Ireland website to find a wealth of resources dealing with climate change.

NIEL also provides a secretariat service to Stop Climate Chaos, a group of environmental and development NGOs encouraging the Northern Ireland Assembly to introduce a Climate Change Bill for Northern Ireland.

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There’s been a 28% drop in greenhouse gas emissions between 1991 and 2014 – the lowest level since 1990.

Representing 14.5 percent of human–induced GHG emissions, the livestock sector plays an important role in climate change.

Species that are unable to shift distribution to keep pace with climate change may experience reduction in their range extent and local extinction.

Climate change exacerbates the risk that non–native species (including pests and pathogens) may establish and spread.

Some habitats are particularly vulnerable to climate change; the risks are clearest for montane habitats (to increased temperature), wetlands (to changes in water availability) and coastal habitats (to sea–level rise).

According to the International Energy Agency, the global breakdown for CO2 emissions is as follows: Residential (6%), Other (10%), Industry (20%), Transport (22%) Electricity and heat (41%).

In 2008 (the latest available figures), overall NI emissions were estimated to be 22,186 kilotonnes of equivalent carbon dioxide (ktCO2e). Although 11.2% lower than 1990, in this period England and Scotland had achieved reductions of 21.1% and 21.3% respectively.

The UK has a statutory target of 34% reductions in GHG by 2020 (on 1990 levels).

According to the Climate Change Act 2008, the net UK carbon account for the year 2050 must be at least 80% lower than the 1990 baseline.

By 2050, Northern Ireland will have: An increase in winter mean temperature of approximately 1.7 °C; an increase in summer mean temperature of approximately 2.2°C; changes in winter mean precipitation of approximately +9%; changes in summer mean precipitation of approximately –12%; and sea level rise for Belfast of 14.5cm above the 1990 sea level.

The latest GHG Inventory estimates indicate that agriculture accounted for 23% of Northern Ireland emissions in 2008.

With several changes in agricultural practices; livestock and fertiliser management, It is estimated that by 2025 agricultural emissions could decrease by 9.4% from 2008 and 15.2% from 1990.

The latest GHG estimates indicate that the Power Sector accounted for 22% of Northern Ireland emissions in 2008.

If electricity generated from renewable sources reaches 50% by 2020 it is estimated that electricity generation emissions will fall and by 2025 will account for 8.9% of total Northern Ireland emissions.

Carbon dioxide emissions from domestic combustion sources are estimated to account for 23.4% of the Northern Ireland CO2 total in 2008.

Even though peatlands only cover 3% of the global land area, they contain approximately 30% of all the carbon on land, equivalent to 75% of all atmospheric carbon and twice the carbon stock in the global forest biomass.

According to the International Energy Agency, the global breakdown for CO2 emissions is as follows: Residential (6%), Other (10%), Industry (20%), Transport (22%) Electricity and Heat (41%).

In 2010, greenhouse gas emissions were almost 15% lower than in 1990, when monitoring of such emissions commenced. However, emissions have increased between 2009 and 2010 by almost 4%. This increase is mostly attributable to consecutive cold winters and an increase in fossil fuel use as a consequence.

In 2011/12, 1,164,000 MWh of electricity in Northern Ireland was produced from indigenous renewable sources. This was equivalent to 14.3% of total electricity consumption in that period. This has increased significantly from 1.5% in 2001/02.