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Climate Change Policy

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (155)

Bernard Durkan


155. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the extent to which his Department’s proposals for carbon reduction here continue to align with the efforts of other European countries both within and without the European Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61943/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

International cooperation is essential to effective climate action. Ireland will continue to work alongside our EU colleagues and countries outside the EU to accelerate climate action and ambition to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement. The ‘Glasgow Climate Pact’, while reflecting a compromise of positions and adopted by consensus of all Parties concerned, keeps alive the ambition of restricting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. Focus must now turn to ensuring real emission reductions by 2030. In this regard, I welcome the work programme adopted in the COP26 Decision aimed to cut emissions in this decade.

The EU will play its part and aims to be climate-neutral by 2050. This objective is at the heart of the European Green Deal and in line with the EU’s commitment to global climate action under the Paris Agreement. The EU and its Member States, acting jointly, submitted an updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the UNFCCC on 17 December 2020, which confirmed a commitment to a binding target of a net domestic reduction of at least 55% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. Legislative proposals to implement the new EU 2030 target have been presented by the European Commission in their "Fit for 55" package, and additional effort will be asked of all Member States, including Ireland.

Ireland has welcomed and supports the increased EU ambition. It is consistent with the national approach, as the Government is committed to achieve net zero emissions by no later than 2050 and a 51% emissions reduction by 2030. These commitments have now been given legal force by the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021.