Addressing climate change and our targets to 2030 and beyond is one of the key policy priorities for this Government. Since my appointment as Minister I have secured Government approval to prepare an All of Government Plan which will set out the actions which must be taken to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change. I will work with colleagues across Government to develop new initiatives across electricity, transport, heat, agriculture and other relevant sectors. The new plan will have a strong focus on implementation, including actions with clear timelines and steps needed to achieve each action, assigning clear lines of responsibility for delivery. The new plan will also be informed by successful approaches in other countries, where such approaches could be adapted for implementation in Ireland.
This Plan will build on the previous actions taken by Government, including in the National Mitigation Plan and the National Development Plan, and is to be completed by early new year.
Building on the National Mitigation Plan, the publication in February of the National Development Plan reaffirms the Government’s commitment to transitioning Ireland to a low carbon, climate resilient economy and society. Reflecting the strong commitment of Government on this issue, almost €22 billion will be directed, between Exchequer and non-Exchequer resources, to addressing the transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient society. This means that well over €1 in €5 spent under the National Development Plan will be on climate action and this capital investment will enable us to deliver a significant reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions over the period to 2030.
The Climate Action High Level Steering Group, which I chair and which includes representation from all relevant Government Departments and Agencies, meets at least quarterly to drive progress by sectors and agencies on the implementation of the National Mitigation Plan as well as the National Adaptation Framework. This group, in turn, reports to the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure, Environment and Climate Action, chaired by An Taoiseach.
In accordance with the framework provided by the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015, the Government must prepare and submit to the Oireachtas an Annual Transition Statement. In support of this written Statement I, along with other relevant Ministers, provided oral reports to both Houses last week. This process ensures that responsible Ministers are directly accountable to the Oireachtas to ensure real progress is made in reducing emissions in their respective sectors.
The 2018 Annual Transition Statement and accompanying update reports on the implementation of the National Mitigation Plan and National Adaptation Framework are available to download on my Department’s website at www.dccae.gov.ie.