The first session of Leitrim Cróga Climate Dialogue took place in Ballinaglera on Saturday 7th December. This exciting and well-attended event included the launch of the Cróga report, a report on the Western Development Commission LeCO project, and a really fascinating Climate Dialogue session that focused on Land Uses, the Built Environment, Transport & Energy and Food & Waste.

Presentation of Cróga Baseline Report

The main purpose of the event was the launch of the Leitrim Cróga Baseline Report, the groundbreaking inventory study of the county’s carbon emissions and sinks. Leitrim was the initial county taken but the methodologies can be transferred to other counties.

Presentations on the Cróga results were made by GEAI researchers Jules Portier and Nicoló Tria, who discovered some surprising figures for different activities in Leitrim. For example, Leitrim homes consume 18% more energy for heating than the national average; agriculture accounts for 43% of the total county emissions, but this is totally off-set by the sequestration of carbon by Leitrim forestland (which includes natural woodlands as well as commercial conifers).

The areas the Report focused on included Transport, Energy, Residential, Commercial, Agriculture, Forestry and Wetlands. The figures for both CO2 emissions and sequestration (absorption) were calculated and presented in an easy-to-understand style.

Climate Dialogue

Following the presentation of the Cróga Report, the first Leitrim Cróga Climate Dialogue session was inaugurated, based on the recently-held Regional Climate Dialogue model.

We prepared many interactive activities to get people engaged around the multi-faceted issue of the Climate & Biodiversity Crisis:

Agree-Disagree lines

People had the possibility to express their sentiment on a series of challenging issues related to energy use and sustainable lifestyles. Various sentences were displayed on the hall’s walls and attendees could stick colored dots on a line, according to how much they agreed with the sentence. Here are some of the outcomes of the voting rounds:

Climate Dialogue Roundtables

Then, we moved into the core of the Climate Dialogue, and attendees distributed themselves around four tables, each one addressing a specific topic of the climate-verse. All attendees were invited to join in the discussion of each topic and to express their ideas via facilitated dialogue. The topics were:

A detailed report for each one of the four discussion tables is available following these links:

Although the climate dialogue session went on for 90 intense minutes, it was agreed that the discussions only started to scratch the surface of the issues and more events of this kind are needed to be held in the near future to get more people engaged.

A second Climate Dialogue session will be held in Carrick-on-Shannon in February 2020. Stay tuned for info!

People that participated in the Climate Dialogue enjoyed taking part in the discussions. Here are some of their valuable impressions on how the session went:

Like-minded people and a thirst for real change environmentally.

“Very informative. Discussions were very interesting.”

“Gained an understanding of the different issues.”

Greenhouse gas emissions in Leitrim

Main figures

The figures below show the Greenhouse Gas emissions of each sector of activity in Leitrim, as reported in the Cróga Report.  The units for the figure on the left are in thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent per year. As can be seen, Agriculture is the highest emitter sector. The industry sector is the lowest (due to the low industrial base of Leitrim).

Leitrim gross emissions per capita are 13.6 tons CO2 equivalent per year. This result is on par with national value. However, when we take into account the carbon sinks’ activity, net emissions results to be remarkably less than the national average (36% less, population adjusted).

For more details and information, look at the Cróga project page and download the report.

Download the executive summary: Cróga – Leitrim Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Executive summary

Download the full report: Cróga – Leitrim Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Baseline report

Download the Cróga Baseline Presentation Slides: Presentation Slides

Download Dr Orla Nic Suibhne’s Presentation Slides: Case Studies for Community Energy Projects

Download Oonagh Duggan’s Presentation Slides: High Nature Value Farming (coming soon)