The Government of Ireland have set out ambitious new legislation to set Ireland on the path to net-Zero emissions no later than 2050, and to a 51% reduction in emissions by the end of this decade.
Key Highlights of the Bill:
- The final version of the Climate Bill embeds the process of setting binding and ambitious emissions-reductions targets in law
- The Bill provides for a national climate objective, which commits to pursue and achieve no later than 2050, the transition to a climate resilient, biodiversity-rich, environmentally-sustainable and climate-neutral economy
- The Bill provides that the first two five-year carbon budgets proposed by the Climate Change Advisory Council should equate to a total reduction of 51% over the period to 2030, relative to a baseline of 2018
- The role of the Climate Change Advisory Council has been strengthened, enabling it to propose carbon budgets to the Minister which match our ambition and international obligations
- The government must adopt carbon budgets that are consistent with the Paris agreement and other international obligations. All forms of greenhouse gas emissions including biogenic methane will be included in the carbon budgets. However it is up to government to decide on the trajectories for different sectors
- The Government will determine, following consultation, how to apply the carbon budget across the relevant sectors, and what each sector will contribute in a given five-year period
- Actions for each sector will be detailed in the Climate Action Plan which must be updated annually Government Ministers will be responsible for achieving the legally-binding targets for their own sectoral area with each Minister accounting for their performance towards sectoral targets and actions before an Oireachtas Committee each year
- Local Authorities must prepare individual Climate Action Plans which will include both mitigation and adaptation measures and will be updated every five years.
- Local Authority Development Plans must be aligned with their Climate Action Plan
- Public Bodies will be obliged to take account of Climate Action Plans in the performance of their functions
A public consultation is currently underway to inform the government's climate action and how it can support citizens to take climate action in their daily lives.