The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten T.D., has published Ireland’s first statutory National Mitigation Plan. Prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act, 2015, the Plan represents an initial step to set Ireland on a pathway to achieve the deep decarbonisation required in Ireland by mid-century in line with the Government’s policy objectives.

The  contains a series of mitigation measures and actions to address the immediate challenge to 2020 and to prepare for the EU targets that Ireland will take on for 2030. It will also begin the development of work to meet the objectives of the National Policy Position for 2050.

The National Mitigation Plan covers greenhouse gas emissions in the Electricity Generation, Built Environment, Transport, and Agriculture, Forest and Land Use sectors. For each sector, the Plan sets out the sectoral policy context, the greenhouse gas emissions trends for each sector, the opportunities and challenges, mitigation measures currently in place and under development, and specific actions to take forward work within each sector.

Announcing the publication of the Plan Minister Denis Naughten said:

“This Plan is the culmination of months of sustained work across Government and represents a first step in our ‘whole-of-Government’ approach to addressing Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions. As a country we are playing catch-up on our obligations in relation to climate change. This obligation is as much an opportunity as an obligation. In any event it is a moral necessity and a vital national interest. The work does not end here, however, but rather begins. The Plan sets out the full range of measures already being undertaken to reduce our emissions but crucially it also provides the framework for further work that must now be undertaken by Government as a whole in the months ahead. On climate change, change is possible. Our role is to put the levers for change into peoples’ hands. This is our work at home, while abroad we stand firm in our commitment to the Paris Agreement. Energy efficiency is central to this plan. This is because using less energy and using it more efficiently is the most cost-effective and accessible way to tackle climate change.”

The National Mitigation Plan provides a robust framework for action and accountability for progress as follows:

  • 106 distinct actions are included in the final Plan to be implemented across Government in order to advance the national transition agenda;
  • robust implementation and oversight through a National Mitigation Plan High Level Steering Group which will be chaired by Minister Naughten;
  • accountability for progress through the statutory Annual Transition Statement delivered to the Oireachtas which will incorporate a National Mitigation Plan Progress Report;
  • a commitment to more integration of climate change into the annual estimates processes and into
  • the Government’s Public Spending Code; and
    the Climate Change Advisory Council to review annual progress in line with its statutory mandate.

Minister Denis Naughten added:

“The Plan provides a sustained, considered and strategic approach to incremental and permanent decarbonisation involving all of Government and society. Individual Ministers will play a key leadership role in driving action year on year and will be directly accountable to the Oireachtas to demonstrate real progress in their sectors to moving Ireland closer to achieving its national transition objective. The strength of this Government’s intent is reflected in the fact that today the Cabinet is holding a strategic meeting dedicated to climate action. An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar committed to this strategic Cabinet meeting on Climate Action on his very first day in office. It is the work of politics to bridge the gulf between global challenge and national responsibility, and between Ireland’s obligation and every single citizen’s responsibility. I look forward to working closely with An Taoiseach and my colleagues in Cabinet to lead change effectively.”

Minister Naughten is also pleased to announce the Membership of the Advisory Group on the National Dialogue on Climate Change as follows:

16 Members for Advisory Group confirmed:

  • Pat Gilroy (Chair)
  • Ciarán Hayes (County and City Management Association)
  • Conor Minogue (IBEC)
  • Adrian Kane (ICTU)
  • Thomas Cooney (IFA)
  • Frank Maughan (DCCAE)
  • Rory O’Donnell (National Economic and Social Council)
  • Cara Augustenborg (Environmental Scientist and Communications Expert)
  • Michael Ewing (Environmental Pillar)
  • Lorna Gold (Head of Policy and Advocacy, Trócaire)
  • Edmund Grace (People Talk)
  • Seán McDonagh (Ecologist)
  • Brigid McManus (Retired Secretary General – Department of Education and Skills)
  • Ryan Meade (Public Policy Adviser)
  • Paul Melia (Environment Journalist)
  • Elaine Nevin (ECO-UNESCO)

The first meeting of the Advisory Group will take place on the 26th July 2017. Details of the Dialogue are contained in the Notes for Editors below.

Source: DCCAE