Climate Disruption is the greatest challenge facing humanity. That is why the Oireachtas requested the Citizens Assembly, which has played a great role in motivating change in our society, to examine Ireland's role in meeting this challenge.
Its recommendations are being taken very seriously both by the Oireachtas and by the government.
The Joint Committee on Climate Action was established by resolution of both Houses of the Oireachtas on 3 July 2018 to consider the third report and recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly entitled 'How the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change'. The Committee is due to report to both Houses by 28 March 2019. In the context of the consideration of each of the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly, it is a matter for the Joint Committee to consider and recommend whether and how each recommendation might be taken up by Government.
In parallel with the work of the Committee, and on foot of a Government Decision on 20 November 2018, work has been underway across all Departments to prepare a new All of Government Climate Action Plan to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change.
This involves working with colleagues across Government to develop new initiatives in electricity, transport, heat, and agriculture, as well as a range of other sectors. The new plan will have a strong focus on implementation, including actions with specific timelines and steps needed to achieve each action, assigning clear lines of responsibility for delivery. The new plan will also be informed by successful approaches in other countries.
This plan will build on the previous actions taken by Government, including in the National Mitigation Plan and the National Development Plan, and is to be completed shortly.
In developing this Plan, I intend that it will address any recommendations that the Joint Committee include in their report.