CLM Submission to Ireland’s Climate Action Plan 2024.

In our submission on Ireland’s Climate Action Plan 2024, CLM emphasises the urgent need for thorough revisions to tackle the country’s increasingly worrying emissions trends.

We advocate for clear strategies, transparent implementation, and strong measures to meet Ireland’s legally binding carbon budgets.

As Ireland grapples with the urgency of climate action, a critical examination of the ongoing consultation on the Climate Action Plan 2024 is necessary.

Introduction
Despite being among the smallest countries in the European Union, Ireland ranks second highest in emissions per capita. While the EU as a whole experienced a 5.3% reduction in emissions in the second quarter of 2023, Ireland saw an alarming increase of 3.6% during the same period.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland warned in December 2023 that Ireland’s emissions are not decreasing rapidly enough to stay within the confines of the 2025 and 2030 carbon budgets. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) further cautioned that even if the Climate Action Plan 2023 had been fully implemented, it would have surpassed the first two legally binding carbon budgets (spanning from 2021-2025 and 2026-2030) by a significant margin of 22%.

The Climate Action Plan 2023 fell short in implementation, with a third of its proposed measures left unaddressed, according to the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications.

Notwithstanding this shortfall, the Climate Action Plan 2024 fails to outline strategies for compensating for these implementation gaps or ensuring compliance with Carbon Budget. Furthermore, it is unclear why a second consultation on the CAP24 is being held. With the consultation period set to end on April 5th, Ireland may remain without a finalised Climate Action Plan for an extended period, ultimately hindering progress towards emissions reduction targets.

This lack of clarity not only hampers the government’s ability to deliver a fair and timely transition, but also potentially undermines meaningful public participation in shaping climate policies. Additionally, the delay in accessing relevant data, including the forthcoming EPA analysis of CAP24, further hinders the effectiveness of the consultation process.