I welcome the publication of the Climate Change Advisory Council’s 2021 Annual Report. The report highlights that a significant ramp-up of mitigation effort is required across the agriculture, land-use, built environment and transport sectors. It also emphasises the importance of climate resilience, while also recognising the significant progress already made in decarbonising our electricity system. Additionally, it stresses that the transition will have a cost and preparations will be required to reduce the impact on the most vulnerable.
We have delivered key elements of our climate policy framework in the last year, including the milestone Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021, and the Climate Action Plan 2021 which identifies the policies,measures and actions necessary to achieve emissions reductions of 51% by 2030 and net zero emissions by no later than 2050.The Government will shortly publish an Annex of Actions, which will set out the detailed steps that must be taken to deliver on our climate commitments. We will shortly have in place a system of legally binding economy-wide carbon budgets and sectoral emissions ceilings, with relevant Ministers required to give account to the Oireachtas on performance on implementing the Climate Action Plan and adhering to the sector's emission ceiling for the carbon budget period.
The National Development Plan published in October allocated significantly increased funding to climate action, including public transport and retrofitting over the next decade.
The National Dialogue on Climate Action will create a comprehensive support structure for widespread public and stakeholder engagement on climate change, empowering people across all areas of society and the economy to adopt more sustainable behaviours, and participate in all aspects of the transition.
Following the enactment of the Climate Act in July, and the publication of the Climate Action Plan 2021 in November, we will in the coming period finalise Ireland’s Long-term Strategy to reflect this increased ambition.. The Strategy will be brought to Government for consideration and approval, ahead of being submitted to the European Commission.