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Climate Change Policy

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (139)

Marc Ó Cathasaigh


139. Deputy Marc Ó Cathasaigh asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications his plans to develop clear pathways for the latest research to provide an evidence base for the National Dialogue on Climate Action and the Interdepartmental Working Group in order to drive sectoral demand shifts, behavioural change and policy input as outlined in the Climate Action Plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58649/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The role of National Dialogue on Climate Action (NDCA) is to engage, enable and empower everyone in society to transition to a climate neutral economy in a way that is fair, just, and accessible.

The delivery of the objectives of the NDCA will be measured through qualitative and quantitative research. The NDCA work programme annual cycle will be implemented in a manner that facilitates the analysis of insights gained from research and from engagement activity. These insights will constitute an evidence base to inform the NDCA, sectoral plans, and the Climate Action Plan. To facilitate this, a behavioural study will be carried out every two years, together with ad-hoc qualitative research. A national climate change behavioural insights and implementation unit has been established in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and a national social and behavioural advisory group on climate action will also be established.

In this regard, my Department has provided funding for the EPA’s “Climate Change in the Irish Mind” project, the first report of which was launched last week. This project is a baseline study of climate change beliefs, policy preferences and behaviour of the Irish public to climate change, and is based on a survey of more than 4,000 Irish people during the summer of 2021 conducted by Behaviours and Attitudes.

Key findings of the research are:

- Irish people are in almost full agreement that climate change is happening and 85% are worried about it.

- 91% of people say climate change is important to them personally, and 79% say climate change should be either a “very high” or “high” priority for the Government of Ireland.

- Irish people strongly support a range of policies to address climate change. People also think that climate action will increase jobs, economic growth and quality of life (78%).

This, as part of the wider research programme, will provide valuable insights to inform the development of policies, measures and actions that will support people in order to drive necessary sectoral demand shifts and behavioural change .