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Government published Climate Action Bill, which aims to reduce Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions

DUBLIN: The Irish government has published the Climate Action Bill and Low Development Bill, which aims to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Climate Bill sets a National Climate Objective to achieve carbon neutral status by 2050.

The bill states that it will enable Ireland to “transition to a climate resilient, biodiversity rich, environmentally sustainable and climate neutral economy”.

Carbon budgets will come into effect

The carbon budget means limiting the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted by all sectors, such as transportation and agriculture, over a five-year period. The bill includes an Interim Target which involves “a reduction of 51% in the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions over the course of the first two budget periods ending on 31 December 2030”.

The carbon budget is devised by the Entity Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC). Its membership will be expanded from 11 to 14. The carbon budget is proposed by CCAC to the Minister for Climate Action and will be implemented with Cabinet approval.

More power to the Oireachtas Joint Committee

The bill would strengthen the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Action by giving it the power to scrutinize. According to the bill, each of the concerned ministers should appear before the committee every year and explain the activities. If the Committee decides to make a policy recommendation, the Minister shall reply in writing within a period of three months.

The bill also mandates that local authorities create their own climate action plans. It should outline the mitigation and adaptation strategies that will be implemented.

The next eight weeks are the time for the public to consult about the bill. The eight-week period runs from today until May 18.

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