The Supreme Court found that the National Mitigation Plan failed to comply with the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 because it did not set out how the national transition objective of decarbonising Irish society was to be achieved. The scientific consensus is clear, we must cut CO2 emissions in half by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 to ensure we protect our planet and our country from the most severe impacts of global warming. I welcome the judgement of the Court.
Since the 2017 National Mitigation Plan was published, the previous Government produced the 2019 Climate Action Plan which is designed to fully deliver Ireland’s 2030 emissions reduction target of 30%. This Government is now committed to an average 7% per annum reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions from 2021 to 2030, equivalent to a 51% reduction over the decade and to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
A key aspect of delivering upon this commitment will be setting our 2050 target in law through the Climate Action Bill, which will be published shortly. The Bill will define how five-year carbon budgets will be set, and every sector must contribute towards meeting this target by implementing policy measures. The Programme for Government also recognises that the strategies to deliver these emissions reductions will require genuine consultation, detailed planning, organisation and adequate mechanisms for funding and incentives, and to this end allows for annual updating of the Climate Action Plan.
I will work with colleagues across government to develop a new Climate Action Plan in 2021, prioritising initiatives in every sector to bring about the significant change needed to build a sustainable future for all.