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Explainer: Ireland’s Climate Action Plan 2024

Ireland is taking significant strides in addressing climate change, as evidenced by the recent approval of its Climate Action Plan 2024 (CAP24). This plan is a critical component in the nation’s commitment to environmental sustainability and carbon reduction.

CAP24 serves as the third annual update to Ireland’s Climate Action Plan and represents a continued effort to combat climate change. Approved by the Government on December 20, 2023, and subject to environmental assessments, this Plan outlines a comprehensive roadmap aimed at halving Ireland’s carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by no later than 2050. This ambitious goal aligns with the objectives set out in the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021.

Key Features of CAP24

Halving Carbon Emissions by 2030: The Plan sets forth a series of measures and actions to significantly reduce carbon emissions within the next decade. This initiative is in line with Ireland’s commitment to global climate targets and its national environmental policies.

Net Zero by 2050: CAP24 details the steps necessary for Ireland to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, a critical target for mitigating the impacts of climate change and adhering to international agreements.

Strategic Environmental and Appropriate Assessments: Both the Climate Action Plan and the accompanying Annex of Actions are subject to Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Appropriate Assessment (AA). These assessments ensure that the Plan’s implementation will not adversely affect the environment and is in compliance with environmental protection standards.

Public Consultation: A crucial aspect of CAP24 is the involvement of public consultation, set to commence in early 2024. This process allows for public input and engagement in the Plan, ensuring that a wide range of perspectives and concerns are considered. Monitor this and other open public consultations at https://www.publicconsultation.ie/

Sustainable Development Goals Chapter: An additional chapter focusing on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be included in the public consultation version of the Plan. This chapter will assess the impact of each section of the Plan at the SDG target level, ensuring that the Plan aligns with broader sustainable development objectives.

Annex of Actions: The 2024 Annex of Actions, which supplements the Climate Action Plan, adopts a new approach by including only new, high-impact actions. The full range of actions supporting climate targets remains within the main body of the Climate Action Plan.

Ireland’s Climate Action Plan 2024 represents a forward-thinking approach to tackling climate change. With its increasingly ambitious targets and comprehensive strategies, CAP24 places Ireland at the forefront of global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability. The upcoming public consultation process and the inclusion of an SDG-focused chapter demonstrate the Plan’s holistic approach to environmental policy and governance. The reality is that Ireland has not made the progress in recent years that it ought to have achieved and it cannot be ‘business as usual’. CAP24 will serve as a critical framework for achieving significant environmental milestones in the coming years, however, reliable data and greater industry buy-in will be required.

Link to download the policy in full: https://www.gov.ie/pdf/?file=https://assets.gov.ie/279555/25df7bb5-1488-4ba1-9711-e058d578371b.pdf#page=null

For regular updates and insights into Ireland’s construction sector, stay informed at www.breakingground.news. Also, be sure to share your industry news by emailing editor@breakingground.news

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