The approach and scope of the modelling used for determining the indicative emissions reduction targets for the 2021 Climate Action Plan (CAP) and for the modelling used in developing the Climate Change Advisory Council’s (CCAC) proposed carbon budget programme were, in both cases, closely determined by the requirements established under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021– specifically the requirement that Ireland must cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 51% by the end of this decade.
Ireland’s 2021 CAP is underpinned by modelling inputs from the broad spectrum of expertise available to the Government, as well as contracted technical input from a range of bodies and organisations. It was also informed by a public consultation and call for expert evidence. Outputs from the modelling have assisted in developing indicative ranges of emissions reductions for each sector of the economy by 2030 to achieve the 51% reduction, and set us on a pathway to achieving net zero emission by 2050. This included indicating the types of actions needed to deliver on our climate targets. The indicative sectoral ranges will be replaced by legally binding specific sectoral ceilings in the 2022 Climate Action Plan, following their adoption by Government once the economy-wide carbon budgets are approved by the Oireachtas.
Some of the experts that fed into the preparation of the Climate Action Plan may separately have provided analytical input to the CCAC as part of its work on the carbon budgets. However, it is important to note that the CCAC acts as an independent advisory body, and any research or modelling undertaken by the CCAC is carried out under that mandate. This includes the development of the CCAC’s recently proposed carbon budget programme. Details of the specific analysis used by the CCAC is outlined in its carbon budget technical report, which can be found at www.climatecouncil.ie.