Agenda and minutes

Venue: Lavery Room - City Hall

Contact: Ms. Carolyn Donnelly, Democratic Services officer 

No. Item




            Apologies were reported on behalf of Alderman McCoubrey and Councillors Doherty and Long.





            The minutes of the meeting of 11th April were taken as read and signed as correct.



Declarations of Interest


            Councillor Flynn declared an interest to agenda item 3. Belfast Festival of Learning Food Data Hackathon, in that Allstate, the organisation for which he worked for was referenced in the report.


            A Declaration of Interest was received from Councillor T. Brooks under agenda item 2. Horizon Europe Urban Planning 2030 (UP2030) Update, in that her employer Queen’s University Belfast was referenced in the report.



Horizon Europe Urban Planning 2030 (UP2030) Update pdf icon PDF 217 KB


            The Committee considered the following report:


“1.0      Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1       The purpose of this report is to provide an update to Members on the ongoing activities as part of the UP2030 Net Zero Neighbourhoods Project including stakeholder engagement, workshops, partnership working and highlight upcoming milestones.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Members of the Committee are asked to:


·        Note that Belfast, represented by Belfast City Council, is a pilot city within the Horizon Europe UP2030 project which is focused on the development of a net zero neighbourhood framework using technical tools and support that are provided through the UP2030 consortium including analysis, mapping and engagement.

·        To support a partnership with the RSUA to deliver the design competition in the UP2030 area in alignment with the project ambitions. 

·        To support Groundwork NI’s Heritage Lottery bid, ‘Climate Resilient Heritage’ that is proposed to roll out within communities in the UP2030 pilot area.

·        To note that an update report on UP2030 was also brought to the City Growth & Regeneration Committee yesterday, 12 June 2024.


3.0       Main report


3.1       In March 2022 Council was invited to participate in a three-year Horizon Europe consortium funding application from the Urban Planning 2030 (UP2030) fund to guide cities through the transitions required to meet their climate neutrality ambitions. As reported in November 2022 and March 2023, the City Regeneration and Development and Climate teams were successful in joint bid of €204,250/£176,024 to further an integrated approach between urban planning, achieving net zero and aspects of resilience.


3.2       Cities account for 70% of the global CO2 emissions and consume 78% of the world’s energy. The UP2030 project is about recognising the role cities play in achieving net zero by 2050, and the sequence of actions and transitions that would be required by 2030 to ensure this target ambition is met. The 5UP approach guides the work of the project and the considerations required for the development of a framework for creating a net zero neighbourhood:


            UP-Dating: Identifying the needs and barriers, and reviewing the processes, planning codes and policies that should be urgently updated to create future proofed NZ neighbourhoods.

            UP-Skilling: Building capacities to upskill the entire stakeholder ecosystem, from city departments to urban practitioners to the construction industry, through to citizens.  

            UP-Grading: Considering the transformation at the suitable physical scale.

            UP-Scaling: Scaling solutions and integrating them across sectors by shaping governance arrangements and matching financial resources. 

            UP-Taking: Sharing knowledge and learning through the project to create long-lasting communities of practice.


3.3       The project kicked off in February 2023 and will run until December 2025 and is driven by robust project milestones and constant engagement across the consortium that is made up of 46 partners, with Belfast one of 11 pilot cities and only UK city. As agreed at the City Growth and Regeneration Committee in March 2023, the geographic area of the UP2030 pilot covers the Linen Quarter and the surrounding communities of Barrack Street, Sandy Row,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Belfast Festival of Learning Food Data Hackathon pdf icon PDF 480 KB

Additional documents:


            The Monitoring, Learning and Reporting Officer reminded the Committee that the Belfast Learning Festival was part of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities and ran this year from 22nd to 27th of April. As part of the festival, the climate team had agreed to hold a hackathon that would explore the current food systems in the city. The aim was to help tackle real-world challenges using data driven solutions. She explained that the invite was issued to students in the Belfast Met, University of Ulster (UU) and Queens University Belfast (QUB) and more than 40 students had registered their interest. To help the students tackle ‘the challenges of accessing healthy sustainable food in the city’, the climate team had arranged a number of workshops throughout the week that included a modelling session with Allstate data analysts, a demonstration of the latest census data, the QUB Geoportal and lessons on how to use the NISRA data platform.


            The Chairperson welcomed to the meeting Mr. N. Cairns Mr. L. Mowbray, the winning team from the Ulster University.


            The team presented their aim to develop an app for a mobile farmer’s market that would travel throughout different neighbourhoods in Belfast, aimed at those with limited access to fresh produce. These markets would offer locally sourced fruits, vegetables, and other sustainable food products at affordable prices. They explained that, by bringing the market directly to people, their objective was to eliminate the transportation barrier and make healthy food more accessible.


            The team described the potential features of their app, together with the data which had been used to inform their app and the benefits of a sustainable food city. They also highlighted that they were currently studying digital technology and the app was something that they might be able to develop in the future, as part of their course.


            During discussion the Committee congratulated the team on their work. Members highlighted the potential and benefits of the app and encouraged its future development. 


After discussion, the Committee noted the contents of the report and the presentation on the findings of the challenge from the winning group.



The Climate Change Act (Reporting Bodies) Regulations pdf icon PDF 525 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered the undernoted report and associated appendices:


“1.0      Purpose of Report/Summary of Main Issues


1.1       To highlight the new regulations that will place new climate change reporting duties on public bodies, including Belfast City Council.


2.0       Recommendation



                                               I.        Note the attached correspondence from DAERA.

                                              II.        Note that the regulations come into place early May 2024 and an update will be brought back to update Committee in due course.


3.0       Main Report


3.1       Background


            Section 42 of the Climate Change Act (Northern Ireland) 2022 requires DAERA to make new Regulations, which will place climate change reporting duties on specified public bodies. The regulations will come into operation in early May 2024, 21 days after they are laid in the Assembly. However, the first reports by public bodies required under the regulations, will not be due to be submitted until October 2025.


3.2       What will be required?


            There are two types of reports which we will be required to provide under the reporting duties set by the Regulations: 1) ‘climate change mitigation’ reports; and 2) ‘climate change adaptation’ reports.


3.3       Climate change mitigation reports must include:


1.      a statement, in respect of each of the three preceding financial years, of the amounts and the sources of the council’s greenhouse gas emissions;

2.      a statement of the council’s proposals and policies for reducing those amounts and otherwise for mitigating the effects of climate change in the exercise of its functions;

3.      a statement of the time-scales for implementing those proposals and policies; and

4.      an assessment of the progress made towards implementing the proposals and policies set out in any previous climate change mitigation report.


3.4       Climate change adaptation reports must include:


5.      an assessment of the current and predicted impact of climate change in relation to its functions;

6.      a statement of council’s proposals and policies for adapting to climate change in the exercise of its functions;

7.      a statement of the timescales for implementing those proposals and policies; and

8.      an assessment of the progress made towards implementing the proposals and policies set out in any previous climate change adaptation report.


3.5       The Regulations state that we must also have regard to the most recent 5 yearly UK Climate Change Risk Assessment and that we must publish the report on the council website and DAERA will also publish it on theirs.


            There is an opportunity for cooperation between two or more reporting bodies to submit a joint report.


3.6       What support will be provided by DAERA


            DAERA will provide:


1.      technical, co-designed guidance on how to complete climate change reports;

2.      a reporting template containing a list of climate change questions;

3.      an online climate change reporting portal to enter data; and

4.      training to complete the reports.


3.7       Timescales for reporting


            The frequencies and timings are set to align with the development of the 5-yearly UK Climate Change Risk Assessments which are required under the UK Climate Change Act 2008 – these risk  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Additional Item - Retrofit Workshop


            The Committee agreed that a Committee Retrofit Workshop would be planned for September and representatives from NIHE, Phoenix Energy and Belfast Retrofit Hub be invited to attend. The Committee noted that the draft agenda for the Workshop would be considered by the Committee at its meeting in August.