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Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill

Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill

The Government has approved the final text of 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. The Bill will also provide the framework for Ireland to meet its international and EU climate commitments and to become a leader in addressing climate change.

The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill, which is a key commitment in the Programme for Government, will now progress through the Houses of the Oireachtas as priority legislation.

In the past two years emissions have fallen by 4 and 6 per cent, but Government aspires to reduce emissions by at least 7% per year to ensure a 51% reduction by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050.

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.
  • 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.

Public Consultation

  • The preparation of the 2021 Climate Action Plan will involve a major public consultation. The government is inviting everyone to join the Climate Conversation and help chart Ireland’s journey to Net Zero.
  • The Government is asking Climate scientists, experts and industry to share their data-based technical proposals to support development of the Plan. The Government also wants to hear from households and communities about what Government can do to further support them as part of Ireland’s journey to net zero.
  • The Climate Action Plan 2021 is currently being developed but Government has recommitted to a set of Interim Climate Actions. The Interim Climate Actions
  • 2021 will ensure continued delivery of climate action across Departments and their Agencies. The Interim Climate Actions 2021 can also be used as a basis for
  • review – People can contribute to the consultation by highlighting where greater commitment is required and increased action necessary for the 2021
  • Climate Action Plan.
  • Submissions can be made to gov.ie/climateconversation which will help shape the 2021 Climate Action Plan. The consultation will remain open until 5pm, 18 May 2021.