skip to Main Content
Combating climate change in Ireland: Interview with Sabrina Dekker

Combating climate change in Ireland: Interview with Sabrina Dekker


Sabrina Dekker, climate action coordinator for Dublin City Council, speaks to the importance of green cities as a means of combating climate change in Ireland.

Why is urban greening important?

It can have immense benefits. It is not just a patch of grass or some pretty flowers or some nice trees, there is all the [environmental] regulation and ecosystem services that nature provides for us that are essential to cities, such as cleaning the air, cleaning water and providing healthy soils. We also need [green spaces] for climate adaptation, to help with the ‘heat island’ effect, which we don’t really talk about enough in Dublin. While we’re doing a lot of work greening, we always need to do more. There are several streets throughout Dublin where there’s a complete void of trees and you can feel the temperature difference. It’s really important that we have greening to cool the city as we warm up. While, also, in terms of flood adaptation, open green spaces soak up water for us in flood events.

How oes Dublin City Council’s climate action plan speak to urban greening?

The climate action plan has five themes: energy and buildings; transport; flood resilience through nature-based solutions and resource management. Nature-based solutions [comprise] a lot of the greening. Within that, when designing the plan, we looked at what we do as an organisation regarding operations and service delivery. Nature-based solutions comprise a lot of the work our parks teams do, but it very much spreads out to what the flood engineers do in terms of building resilience to flooding, for example. Their work is important and, increasingly, it is becoming [more] important [in terms of] transport: trees provide a natural umbrella if you’re cycling in the rain or want that brief moment to shelter. It lends to beautifying the city and making it easier for people to choose active travel. Within nature-based solutions is both biodiversity and protecting biodiversity. It’s great to have plants but they need to be diverse so that they’re resilient to any future impacts of climate change.

Back To Top
The Green City uses Googles cookies and scripts to analyse your use of our website anonymously, so we can customise its functionality and effectiveness and display advertisements. We also use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google cookies and scripts, with your consent, to enable social media integration on our website. If you wish to change which cookies and scripts we use, you can alter your settings below.