The third report of the Citizens' Assembly, How the State can make Ireland a Leader in Tackling Climate Change, was submitted to the Oireachtas in April of this year. The Houses subsequently established the Joint Committee on Climate Action to further consider the assembly's recommendations and to report by the end of January 2019. I was pleased to note that many of the recommendations adopted by the Citizens' Assembly are being addressed through the implementation of the national development plan, the national mitigation plan and the energy White Paper.
The work of the Citizens' Assembly on the challenging topic of climate change, under the mandate of the Oireachtas, represents an excellent model of dialogue and engagement with citizens which I intend to develop further through the national dialogue on climate action.
Addressing climate change and our targets to 2030 and beyond is one key policy priority for the Government. Reflecting this priority, Ireland has established an ambitious, long-term decarbonisation objective through the national policy position on climate action and low carbon development for 2050. It has put in place robust governance arrangements to secure a strong co-ordinated approach to the delivery of our ambition on climate action across all relevant Departments and Government agencies.
Ireland is demonstrating public sector leadership in addressing climate change, including through our ambitious 33% energy efficiency target for 2020. By the end of 2016, the public sector had achieved a 20% improvement in energy efficiency, equating to €133 million in avoided energy spend and 520,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions mitigated. To ensure the public sector continues on this positive pathway, I have put in place the public sector energy efficiency strategy to drive the additional ambition necessary between now and 2020.
I published Ireland's first statutory national mitigation plan in July 2017 to make further progress on the ambition of our national position. The plan is a whole-of-Government plan reflecting in particular the central roles of Ministers responsible for the four key sectors with the most significant contribution to national emissions, electricity generation, the built environment, transport, and agriculture, forestry and land use, and draws on the perspectives of a range of other Departments.
I subsequently published Ireland’s first statutory national adaptation framework in January. Under the framework, seven Departments and agencies with responsibility for the 12 priority sectors identified in the framework are required to submit sectoral adaptation plans to Government for approval by 30 September 2019.