In November 2018 I received a mandate from Government to prepare a climate plan which would make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change. The Government's Climate Action Plan 2019, published on 17 June, sets out for the first time, how Ireland can reach its 2030 targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also put Ireland on the right trajectory towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Plan represents a significant step-up in ambition, with a target abatement range for each of the key sectors that contribute to Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions: Electricity; Enterprise; the Built Environment; Transport; Agriculture, Forestry and Land Use; Waste and the Circular Economy; and the Public Sector.
In preparing the Plan, I established eleven cross-Government teams which undertook analysis of areas of substantial mitigation potential with a view to proposing actions necessary to realise this potential, with specific timelines and steps to achieve each proposed action, and with clear lines of responsibility for delivery.
During the development of the Climate Action Plan, progress was considered at two meetings of the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure and at three meetings of the relevant Senior Officials Group. The Plan is a standing item at the monthly Ministerial Management Board meetings, is routinely discussed at my weekly meetings with the Secretary General of the Department and is discussed at my Department’s Management Board meetings.
In internal Implementation Board has been established in my department, chaired by the Secretary General, which will oversee the delivery of the Plan insofar as the actions related to my Department and its agencies are concerned.