We have delivered a new, strengthened Climate Action Bill, which for the first time commits to pursue and achieve climate neutrality by 2050, and sets a target of at least a 51% reduction in emissions by 2030.
This new Bill commits us to going further and faster on emission reductions than any other country has achieved. It includes a strengthened independent Climate Advisory Council and sets out a requirement for 5-year carbon budgets for all sectors of our economy, the first two of which will allow for a 51% cut in emissions by 2030 with a baseline of 2018 for comparison. Carbon budgets are another term used for limiting the amount of carbon emissions which can be produced by all sectors of our economy, such as the transport sector, energy sector or agriculture sector.
Once the Bill has passed through the Oireachtas, the Climate Advisory Council will set the limit or budget for each of these sectors. To go one step further again, the legislation will also require all of our carbon budgets to be in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. This means each of our targets will be more ambitious than the previous target, demonstrating progress in our national climate action policies and our overall ambition to reach climate neutrality.
Most importantly, this Climate Action Bill will be justiciable. This means that Climate Action will be the law, and NGOs or individuals will be able to take legal action against the Government if it is failing to meet its targets.
This is a really important piece of legislation, and represents clearly why the Green Party entered government last year. Delivering real and tangible actions that will address the climate and biodiversity crisis is a core element of the Programme for Government we negotiated last summer. It is what we have always campaigned for and this Bill is the result of many years of hard work and dedication from our members, NGOs and activists.
We know the impact climate change is having on our planet, and by taking action now we can shape a better future for young people. I look forward to working with colleagues to pass this Bill and to seeing the positive the impact it will have.
Join the Climate Conversation
The next step is developing the Climate Action Plan 2021 which will include yearly actions for each sector. The Government has opened a public consultation on the Plan in order to gather as many views as possible from the people who will be affected.
You views on this are really important, as it’s so crucial that people are not left behind in our strive for a cleaner and greener Ireland. You can find details on how to make a submission or take part in the survey here.