I published the Climate Action Plan 2019 on 17 June last. The Plan sets out, for the first time, how Ireland can reach its 2030 targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and also puts Ireland on the right trajectory towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Plan requires a significant step up in ambition, with a target abatement range for each of the key sectors that contribute to Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions: Electricity, Enterprise, Built Environment, Transport, Agriculture, Forestry and Land Use, Waste and the Circular Economy, and the Public Sector.
The Plan sets out 616 individual actions to be delivered by Government Departments, agencies and other bodies. My Department will be directly responsible for delivering 160 of these actions, across the climate, energy and waste policy sectors.
New governance arrangements are being put in place to provide effective oversight of implementation of the Plan, including:
- a Climate Action Delivery Board, jointly chaired by the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, holding individual Departments and agencies to account
- the publication of a quarterly report on the implementation of actions set out in the Plan
- a statutory basis for establishing carbon budgets with clear sectoral targets
- a strengthened Climate Action Council
- a strengthened Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action to hold the Government to account on the implementation of climate policy
My Department currently has a total of 84 staff assigned to the climate, energy and waste policy functions, across ten separate divisions. This staff complement has significant experience in developing and implementing policy at international, EU, national, regional and local levels. In addition to its own staff, the Department also has access to scientific and technical advice in agencies under its aegis to assist it in delivering the Government’s policy objectives.
Notwithstanding the resources currently available, my Department keeps its resourcing and staffing requirements under ongoing review, to ensure that it is effectively equipped to deliver the policy objectives that have been set for it by the Government, including the objectives and commitments set out in the Climate Action Plan.