Belfast Telegraph

Derry City Council backs plan for 'eco zone' creation

By Brendan McDaid

Derry City Council has backed plans to examine how the city can become one of Europe’s leading eco zones.

Councillors have unanimously given the green light for the local authority to now procure expert advice on reducing carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency.

The experts are expected to identify the best route to developing a new approach to energy production, consumption and measurement within the Derry City Council area.

Carbon emissions in different areas of the city will be measured under the new project.

The CO2Free project, which is funded by the European Union, aims to address climate change at a local level by transferring best practice from nine partner regions across the continent.

Londonderry will now join an exclusive club comprised of, among others, Vasternorrland in Sweden and San Sebastian in Spain. A report to the council from the office of the town clerk, Sharon O’Connor, states: “Due to numerous government and private sector investments in telecommunications infrastructure, Derry/Londonderry can lay claim to being the UK Digital Champion.

“Potential applications for this digital infrastructure are many and the city plans to explore these and implement them in partnership across the private, public, education and community/voluntary sectors.

“At the same time, Derry has ambitions to be an eco city as defined within the city's One Plan Regeneration Plan, which aims to create 900 jobs in the green sector by 2020 and 12,500 jobs overall across other sectors including digital and ICT,” the report said.

SDLP councillor Gerard Diver described the new project as “interesting and worthwhile”.

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