Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 6 November 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action
Conference of the Parties, COP, 25: Discussion
Mr. Frank Maughan:
I will comment on the role of the system in assessing performance and monitoring targets.
One aspect of the EPA's role, as part of its inventories, is to provide an assessment of Ireland's compliance against our European and international targets. In doing so, it also reports annually to the European Union and the United Nations. There are very detailed rules in place at both levels in terms of what parties and member states of the EU must report, the frequency of reporting and the level of detailed reporting. Over a number of years, that has been the situation and it has been put into the public domain by the agency on a very informative and systematic basis. That is used by the Government system and as part of the public debate.
To try to address the Deputy's specific query on the audit report, the development I will refer to is what the Government has done in regard to the climate action plan. The governance arrangements for the climate action plan can be seen as a step change in the Government's approach to monitoring performance against our climate targets. As the Deputy will be aware, there are provisions for quarterly reporting of actions in the climate action plan and the first quarterly report was published last week. A climate action delivery board, chaired by the Secretary General of my Department and the Secretary General to the Government, has been established and is meeting regularly. The arrangements for monitoring and reporting within Government have changed quite significantly since that audit report, which I understand is from last year.