Regular meetings and interactions take place between my Department and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment (DCCAE) in relation to climate change. Naturally, these engagements were frequent during the recent preparation of the Climate Action Plan, and build on the regular scheduled meetings that are held on an on-going basis. For instance, my Department meets monthly with the transport energy area of DCCAE to discuss cross-cutting policies and work streams regarding climate change particularly related to electric vehicles, alternative fuels and the biofuel obligation scheme.
Additionally, at official level the Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Taskforce was established in 2016 to consider the range of measures and options available to Government to accelerate the take-up rate of alternatively fuelled vehicles in Ireland and so contribute to the national decarbonisation effort. This Taskforce is co-chaired by my Department and DCCAE. To date there have been a total of 22 meetings of the LEV Taskforce Steering and Working Groups and a number of Stakeholder Consultation days.
The issue of climate change is regularly discussed at Senior Officials’ Group meetings chaired by the Department of An Taoiseach and involving representation from all relevant Departments including my own. The Secretary General will also shortly take up a position on the cross-sectoral Climate Change Delivery Board which is being established to oversee the delivery of actions outlined in the Climate Action Plan.
Finally, the Deputy will be aware that the impact of climate change is frequently discussed at Cabinet Committee and Government meetings. Minister Bruton and I have had a number of engagements on the development of the Climate Action Plan. I keep abreast of sectorial and national developments and annually report to both Houses of the Oireachtas on how transport is contributing to the national decarbonisation effort as well as building resilience to climate change.