My Department leads on a range of cross-cutting policies which have a positive impact on the environment. Following on from the enactment of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act in July, I recently published the Climate Action Plan 2021 which sets out how Ireland will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 51% by 2030 relative to 2018, and puts us on a pathway to achieving climate neutrality no later than 2050.
My Department is also currently preparing a Whole-of-Government Circular Economy Strategy which will set out policies, measures and actions to support moving away from today's 'take-make-waste' model of production to more sustainable production and consumption, which will support climate mitigation - an OECD study of four countries' greenhouse gas emissions found that emissions from materials management accounted for between 55% and 65% of national emissions.
I am also finalising a new Clean Air Strategy, and developing a comprehensive regime for the regulation of domestic solid fuels. The Strategy will outline how we will enhance and protect the quality of the air we breathe and realise the full environmental and health benefits of cleaner air. It will set out a pathway, based on a comprehensive cross-Government programme of policies and measures, that will tackle all sources of air pollution, including those from transport, agriculture, and the commercial and residential sectors.
In addition, my Department is active in setting policies and standards for radiation and noise, and is responsible for the environmental aspects of policy on soils, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and chemicals. The Department also funds the work of the Environmental Protection Agency which is responsible for protecting and improving the environment as a valuable asset for the people of Ireland.