The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021 was signed into law in July of this year and commits Ireland to reach a legally-binding target of net-zero emissions no later than 2050, and a cut of 51% by 2030 (compared to 2018 levels).
Further to the enactment of the Climate Act, the Climate Change Advisory Council has recently advised proposed economy-wide carbon budgets for the periods 2021-2025 and 2026-2030, and a provisional budget for 2031-2035. When the carbon budgets are approved in accordance with section 9 of the Act, the Government will publish final sectoral emissions ceilings within those budgets.
To ensure that climate action continues at pace, the Government will shortly publish Climate Action Plan 2021. This plan will set out indicative ranges of emissions reductions for all sectors.
The European Commission under it’s Fit for 55 Package has proposed a number of changes to the structure of the EU climate framework, including:
- The inclusion of maritime transport in the ETS;
- A phase out free emissions allowances for aviation and to align with the global CORSIA scheme;
- A redesign of the land use accounting system from 2026 onwards;
- A separate new EU ETS is proposed to be set up for the road transport and buildings sectors.
Ireland will engage through the Council of Ministers on these proposals as they move through the legislative process.