I propose to take Questions Nos. 31, 40, 59 and 245 together.
l have recently received a mandate from Government to develop on the All of Government Plan to bring about a step change in our climate ambition over the next decade, and beyond. I intend that this new Plan will set out the actions which must be taken to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change. It will have a strong focus on implementation, including actions with timelines and steps needed to achieve each action, assigning clear lines of responsibility for delivery. I am currently working with my colleagues in Government to prepare proposals for inclusion in the new Plan. The setting of appropriate targets to drive ambition within relevant sectors is a key focus of my work to develop the Plan.
To inform the development of the Plan, I hosted a High Level Consultative Forum on Friday 18 January. This forum was attended by almost 200 people, and included representatives from all of the key sectors responsible for greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland as well as a strong representation from civil society.
I intend that actions to deliver the significant investment priorities identified for funding through the National Development Plan will be included in the new Plan, as well as additional actions that will look to taxation, regulation and behavioural change measures to further enhance Ireland’s climate mitigation policies. I intend that the Plan will also recognise, and seek to take advantage of, the economic opportunities that the low carbon transition presents for Ireland.
The Plan will build on existing policy and will be organised around six themes that focus action across Government in all sectors of the economy that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions:
- regulatory framework;
- adoption of known technologies;
- addressing market failure;
- driving change in business models;
- the public sector leading by example; and
- engaging with citizens and communities.
In developing this Plan, I am also looking forward to receiving shortly the final report and recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action which has, over the last number of months, been considering the report of the Citizens Assembly in relation to climate change.