Sustainability and climate action are two of the key areas where society needs to take a lead over the long term and the GAA and the local authority sector announced a new initiative on Friday that will see clubs in communities taking an important lead.
The partnership will capitalise on the leadership roles both organisations have within their communities, and the potential they have to engage with citizens of all ages to promote sustainable local development, environmental awareness and climate action.
The partnership builds on the GAA’s status as a Sustainable Development Goal Champion and aligns with local government commitments under the National Climate Action Plan and Local Authorities’ Climate Action Charters.
A steering group, composed of representatives from the Local Authority sector, the GAA, LGFA and Camogie Association, have begun work on the development of a Green Club toolkit, which will be piloted in 2020 ahead of the roll-out of a National Green Club Support Plan in 2021.
The Green Club toolkit, which will first be piloted across a small number of clubs throughout the country, will be focused on the key action areas of Energy and Water Efficiency, Biodiversity, Waste Management and Plastic Use and Transport.
It will include a lot of common sense elements that will be achievable and which collectively will add up to things that can make an actual difference but more importantly lead to a culture shift that we all begin to look differently.
Speaking in Croke Park at the launch GAA President John Horan spoke of it in terms similar to what we were like with regards to safety belts, that shifting opinion can lead to something that was not considered important to being just something we do and for the greater good.
“An increasing number of clubs are seeking guidance in the area of sustainability, and our members are very anxious to play their part in the fight against climate change,” he said.
“The collaboration with the Local Authority Sector is an ideal partnership to help us to develop our clubs sustainability within and for communities and to reach people in every corner of Ireland with information that will help them to make changes in their own lives to support the effort against climate change and adapting to evolving challenges.”
“The GAA and local authorities both represent local leadership, community, legacy and vision,” added Michael Walsh, Chair of the City and County Managers Association.
“We each have relevant networks, knowledge, existing partners and facilities. Working together we can have a huge impact and enable the necessary behavioural change in our communities.”
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