Wednesday, 11 May 2022
Ceisteanna - Questions
I propose to take Questions Nos. 11 to 19, inclusive, together.
The Cabinet committee on the environment and climate change oversees the implementation of the ambitious programme for Government commitments on the environment and climate change. The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021 sets out Ireland's key climate change commitments. It sets challenging carbon reduction targets for 2030 and the statutory commitment of achieving a climate neutral economy by 2050. The next step in the process will be to set sectoral emission ceilings that will determine the upper limits of greenhouse gas emissions for each sector. The cumulative sectoral emissions ceilings will keep within the overall carbon budgets approved by the Houses of the Oireachtas and which took effect from 6 April.
Agreed policies and measures designed to ensure that sectors quickly and significantly reduce their emissions have been set out in the Climate Action Plan 2021. The plan will be further revised this year to ensure that the actions it contains are sufficient to meet the reduction targets that will have been made explicit through the setting of the carbon budgets and sectoral emissions ceilings.
The Cabinet committee last met on Monday, 9 May, and the next meeting is provisionally set for 4 July. The Cabinet committee will continue to meet regularly during 2022 to progress all aspects of the Government's ambitious climate action and environmental policies.
The climate action delivery board was established in 2019 and is jointly chaired by the Secretaries General of the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications. Membership of the climate action delivery board consists of Secretaries General from those Departments that have key responsibilities for climate action delivery. Its original remit focused on overseeing the implementation of the last Government's Climate Action Plan 2019. Since then, the programme for Government, the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021 and the Climate Action Plan 2021 have changed the context of the work of the delivery board.
In November 2021, the delivery board updated its terms of reference to provide for these changes, including the addition of a requirement for the delivery board to monitor the implementation of carbon budgets and sectoral emissions ceilings, which are now provided for by law. Quarterly reports on the implementation by Departments of actions committed to under the climate action plan will continue as before. These will continue to be submitted to Government and published on my Department's website to ensure full accountability and transparency in the delivery of our climate objectives. A full list of the members of the delivery board and its terms of reference are available on my Department's website.