Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Lavery Room - City Hall

Contact: Ms. Carolyn Donnelly, Democratic Services officer 

No. Item




            An apology was reported on behalf of Councillor Long.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 351 KB


            The minutes of the meeting of 7th December, 2023 were taken as read and signed as correct.



Declarations of Interest


No Declarations of Interest were reported.



Retain: Sustain Programme and Short Film on Tracking Eco-Anxiety in the Wider Belfast Community


The Committee agreed that future presentations to the Committee should be scrutinised to ensure that they are accurate, in terms of both format and content, as listed on the Committee agenda. The Committee agreed also that where such presentations requested project funding, those projects should be costed and have been subjected to the completion of a comprehensive research and feasibility study, prior to consideration by the Committee.



Embodied Carbon - Reimaging Construction


The Committee agreed that the Director of Property and Projects be invited to a future meeting of the Committee in order the explore the possibility of the Council incorporating the calculation and publication of embedded carbon as part of its future infrastructure and capital programme projects.



Passive House Standards


The Committee agreed that Passive House Standards be considered as a measure for future Council construction projects.



Notices of Motion - Quarterly Update pdf icon PDF 237 KB

Additional documents:


            The Director of City and Organisational Strategy provided a quarterly update on the Notices of Motions with particular reference to the Notice of Motion and Issue Raised in Advance which were the remit of the Climate and City Resilience Committee.


            The Committee noted the updates and agreed to the closure of to the Notice of Motion (ref 296) that Belfast should join C40 and the Issue Raised in Advance ref 339 requesting that Northern Ireland landmarks be included in the design of the proposed new Irish Passport.


            The Director reported that requests to join C40 was unable to be accommodated owing to the fact that capacity had been reached. He stated that enquiries could be made in the future to seek membership of C40 when nomination places became available.


            The Director reported that following a request from the Committee that the Department of Foreign Affairs consider including landmarks of Northern Ireland in the design of its proposed new Irish Passport, a response had been circulated to Members which had been received from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tánaiste.


            The Committee agreed to the closure of both the Notice of Motion and Issue Raised in Advance.



Climate and Mitigation Dashboard


A Member requested an update on the progress made in regard to the implementation of a Climate and Mitigation Dashboard comprising a range of data pertaining to projects involving climate change and emission reduction measures.


            In response, the Climate Commissioner reported that officers were engaged in the process of developing a dashboard for the Council, including a pilot project involving a range of wireless services as part of that process.  She agreed to follow that up with an update to the Committee at a future meeting with the objective of extending the pilot to include a range of Council departments.


            The Climate Commissioner confirmed that the Council would be undertaking a review of the Resilience and Sustainability Board and stated that there were thirty ambitions within the Resilience strategy. She reported that work going on across the city in terms of the Climate and Resilience Strategy had been amalgamated and that she would provide an update on the achievements during 2023, including the planned actions for 2024.





Update on Belfast Retrofit Delivery Hub - Brenda Roddy to Present pdf icon PDF 428 KB

Additional documents:


The Project Sponsor submitted the undernoted report on the Belfast Retrofit Delivery Hub.


“1.0     Purpose of Report/Summary of Main Issues


1.1            The purpose of this report is to update Members on the Belfast Retrofit Delivery Hub.


2.0       Recommendation


2.1       The Committee is asked to note:


                                               i.          the Retrofit Hub organised three roundtable events in November 2023 on retrofit of commercial and public buildings, creating customer demand, and potential funding approaches;


                                             ii.          the key takeaways included - 


a.        the energy and carbon performance of commercial and public buildings is a key factor in protecting the value of the property and lease/rental incomes;

b.        demand for retrofit is driven largely by the availability of grants but is also affected by building regulations and the availability of trusted advice;


                                              iii.        that members highlighted the need for a strategic overview of Belfast’s built environment encompassing the market fundamentals as well as the need address retrofit / refurbishment, embodied carbon and the opportunity to develop a heat network in the city.


3.0       Main Report


3.1       Background


At the Climate and City Resilience Committee meeting in November 2023 it was reported that the Retrofit Hub planned to run three roundtable events later that month to explore topics in greater depth. These included:


1.          retrofit of commercial and public buildings,

2.          how to create customer demand for retrofit, and

3.          potential funding approaches.


3.2       These were intended to inform three of the ten ‘work packages’ identified by members in earlier meetings:


1.          Data and information

2.          Co-ordination, learning and knowledge exchange.

3.          Ensuring the just transition – checking for equality of opportunity

4.          Pipeline development & funding options

5.          Creating customer demand – Improving understanding, creating the market

6.          Building energy performance assessment and monitoring

7.          Supply chain development

8.          Commercial sector

9.          Local Area Energy Plan integration

10.       Resilience assessment


3.3       Key findings of the events are summarised below:


Retrofitting of commercial and public buildings


1Commercial and public buildings comprise a significant proportion of city centre property. Commercial tenants (especially for offices) are increasingly seeking to occupy buildings that are energy efficient with low operational emissions – hence the energy and carbon performance is a key factor in protecting the value of the property and in ensuring the marketability (and therefore income) of the property.  This is driving down demand for older stock. The public sector is also a significant player accounting for an estimated 40% of occupied office space, with interests in letting and selling surplus stock.


3.4       With increasing legislation and customer expectations around energy efficiency standards, the commercial viability of both private and public office stock will increasingly be linked to the energy performance of the buildings. There is a significant lack of data on these buildings but categories of commercial/public property might include buildings:


-        certified to environmental standards which are already optimising rental income

-        currently at risk of not meeting market demands for energy performance, but for which a business case for improvement can be made; and

-        which have no  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Social Farms and Gardens - Request to Present to Future Committee Meeting pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee agreed to the request by Social Farms and Gardens to undertake a presentation to a future meeting of the Committee on the findings of their research.



Response from The Minister of Foreign Affairs re: New Irish Passport Design - for notation. pdf icon PDF 397 KB


            The Committee noted the response from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tánaiste following the request by the Committee to include Northern Ireland landmarks in the design of the proposed new Irish Passport.



Date of Next Meeting


The Committee agreed that its next meeting be held on Thursday, 8th February, 2024 at 5.15 p.m.