The Government today finally published its draft National Mitigation Plan – Ireland’s first plan in ten years on how it intends to reduce the harmful emissions that contribute to climate change. A requirement under Ireland’s Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act (2015), the Plan must establish how Ireland will reduce emissions from the buildings, agricultural, transport, and energy production sectors.
An analysis of the draft Plan conducted by Stop Climate Chaos has revealed that it fails to fully take into account the transformative ambition and action that is now urgently required to prevent the harmful effects of climate change.
On reviewing the document, Catherine Devitt, environmental justice officer with the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, and a spokesperson for the Coalition argued:
‘It has been ten years since Ireland’s last climate action plan, and this expired in 2012. Despite what the science is now clearly telling us, despite the unfolding evidence, and despite Ireland’s ratification of the Paris Agreement, this draft fails to offer anything new in terms of ambitious and just climate action. We urgently need to have a national conversation that is aligned with the science, the objectives of the Paris Agreement, and the principles of justice and fairness. I am afraid that the draft National Mitigation Plan will not provide this space.’
Suggesting a lack of seriousness by the Government to respond to the urgency and gravity of climate change, the draft Plan gives no acknowledgement, reflection or engagement with the level of ambition that Ireland committed to when it ratified the Paris Agreement in late 2016. Instead, the document frames the potential for Ireland’s climate response as being reliant on ‘cost-effectiveness’, and in particular, over-emphasises the financial costs and budgetary implications associated with implementing climate measures.