I published the Government's Climate Action Plan on 17 June. The Plan sets out, for the first time, how Ireland can reach its 2030 targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and also puts Ireland on the right trajectory towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Plan commits to reducing public sector emissions by 30% and improving public sector energy efficiency by 50% by 2030.
The Plan also includes a commitment to require each public body to adopt a Climate Action Mandate. The mandate will involve a core group of requirements that every public body will have to meet, and a wider set that should be pursued by larger organisations. The core requirements will have specific timelines for their introduction, be clearly measureable against a set of key performance indicators, and may include measures such as the following:
- facilitating employees in adopting lower carbon lifestyles
- every public building with public access to display an up-to-date Display Energy Certificate
- collaborating with suppliers and service providers in joint decarbonisation initiatives, including working with clients to adopt low carbon approaches such as the development of clusters
In addition, large public bodies may be required to commit to other measures such as:
- achieving formal environmental accreditation, such as EMAS or ISO 14001, and ISO 50001
- a proportion of energy to come from certified renewable sources and/or onsite renewables
- active management of equipment containing refrigerant gases, including maintenance and disposal planning
A decision as to whether to undertake specific audits is a matter for senior management to consider when developing Climate Action Mandates for their respective Government Department, Office or Agency.