The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021 was signed into law in July of this year. It commits Ireland to reach a legally binding target of net zero emissions, not later than 2050, and a cut of 51% by 2030 compared with 2018 levels. Further to the enactment of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021, the Climate Change Advisory Council has recently advised proposed economy-wide carbon budgets for the periods 2021 to 2025 and 2026 to 2030, and a provisional budget for 2031 to 2035. This is the first step in developing carbon budgets which will in the coming months be allocated across sectors by way of sectoral emissions ceilings. Sectoral emissions ceilings are the maximum amount of greenhouse gas emissions permitted in a sector of the economy during each five-year carbon budget. The Oireachtas will be tasked with considering the budgets in accordance with section 9 of the Act. Once the economy-wide carbon budgets have been approved, the Government will agree specific sectoral emissions ceilings.
In parallel, my Department is currently finalising the climate action plan 2021, which will be published shortly. This plan will set out indicative ranges of emissions reductions for all sectors. It will also set out the practical measures we need to take to meet our climate targets for 2030 and to set us on a pathway to climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest. My Department has engaged proactively with public stakeholders and other Departments to deliver an ambitious, fair and achievable climate action plan.
There will be different ambition levels for every sector, based on their respective starting points and the relative difficulty, cost, speed and benefits of reducing emissions.