Environment minister John Gormely and experts from the Environment Protection Agency were present at the conference which addressed the implementation of national and regional climate change policy and the need for energy efficiency and emissions management.

According to Kilkenny county manager Joe Crockett, the four main areas responsible for CO2 emissions in Ireland were industry, agriculture, energy and transport.

He told the conference that the cost of inaction would be far greater than the cost of action.

Tom Maher, chairman of Kilkenny county council, told the Kilkenny Advertiser: “Climate change is confirmed as one of the greatest threats to mankind and is now a key cross-cutting policy issue for governments.”

He emphasised the role that local authorities will play implementing climate change policies to businesses and homeowners across their region.

In 2007 the Irish government published its National Climate Strategy which outlined plans to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 under rules from the European Parliament.

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