23 January 2012, Minister Phil Hogan, T.D., issued a work programme setting out the steps and milestones for the development of national climate policy and legislation.
The programme of work was also sent to the Chair of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht as part of the follow-up to the Minister’s meeting with the Committee in December. In issuing the work programme, the Minister said, “I foresee a central role for the Joint Committee in the policy development process, most importantly on the critical issue of coming to a clear national understanding of how we will meet our binding EU and wider-international mitigation commitments, as well as pursuing our national objectives in a low-carbon global economy.” This role for the Committee was also reflected in the Government’s legislative programme for the Spring 2012 parliamentary session.
The work programme for policy development, including legislation covers the next 18 months (see below). The principal milestones include:
- a public consultation which will take place in the first half of 2012;
- in the second half of the year, the publication of an initial report by the NESC Secretariat on potential climate policies and measures (to be completed by end June 2012) and the development of heads of a Climate Bill for consideration by the Committee following Government approval (end-2012); and
- the consideration of the end-2012 final report by the NESC Secretariat and the heads of Bill by the Committee in the first half of 2013.
The Minister also reiterated his commitment to an open and transparent process involving all stakeholders. “A successful way forward for Ireland lies in structured dialogue on the range of views that exists across society, on an open and inclusive basis, and this will be facilitated at various points in the course of this work programme, beginning with the open consultation I will initiate next month” the Minister said.
On 3 November, Minister Hogan released a review of national climate policy [ 284kB]and announced his intention to move the policy development process forward in three, interconnected ways:
- a public consultation to enable all stakeholders to engage in the policy development process;
- an independent analysis by the secretariat to the National Economic and Social Council to include a set of potential policies and measures to close the distance to targets already in place, and development of the basis for a long-term socio-economic vision to underpin effective national transition to a low-carbon future by 2050; and
- continued engagement across Government via the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change and the Green Economy with a view to achieving making progress on sectoral mitigation measures.
On 15 December, the Minister met with the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht and agreed to set out a roadmap for policy development including climate legislation.
National Climate Policy
Programme for the development of national climate policy and legislation
January Independent analysis by NESC Secretariat, for the purpose of informing further development of national climate policy, to commence.
Early February In parallel with the independent analysis by the NESC Secretariat, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to launch a structured, open, and inclusive consultation on national policy and legislation following on from the review issued the Minister on 3rd November 2011.
The consultation process will run up to the end of April.
End June NESC Secretariat to submit its interim report, which will focus on potential options for policies and measures to close the distance to Ireland’s greenhouse gas emission reduction target under Decision 406/2009/EC in the compliance period 2013-2020.
Minister to make an overview analysis of the responses to the consultation available on line.
Quarter 3 Minister to release the interim report from NESC Secretariat; views to be sought from Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht.
Quarter 4 Minister to –
a) announce the Government response to the interim report from NESC Secretariat, and
b) issue heads of a climate Bill for consideration by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht and stakeholders, following Government approval.
End 2012 NESC Secretariat to submit its final report.
February Minister to release final report from NESC Secretariat.
March – June Oireachtas Joint Committee to consider the NESC reports and Heads of climate bill, consulting with stakeholders as determined by the Committee.
End June Oireachtas Joint Committee to report on national climate policy development and appropriate legislation.
Quarter 3/4 Having regard to –
• the National Climate Policy Review,
• the reports from the NESC Secretariat and the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht, and
• ongoing evolution of climate policy within EU level and at a wider-international level under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,
Government to adopt a national policy position on transition to a low-carbon future, including appropriate institutional arrangements, and finalise the introduction of climate legislation.