Submission on the Climate Action Plan 2023

The latest figures from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that in 2021, emissions rose rather than fell and Ireland used a quarter of its five-year carbon pollution budget in one year. Ireland’s carbon emissions remain the third highest in the EU and have risen above pre-Covid levels. The EPA has warned that Ireland will not meet its 51% emissions reductions by 2030, relative to 2018 levels, as required under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act.

It is past time for radical measures that reduce emissions rapidly and meet the scale and the urgency of the challenge. From the record heat in Europe to the drought in the Horn of Africa to the floods in Pakistan, we are living through a climate and biodiversity emergency and it’s time the Government started responding appropriately.

Communities who have contributed the least to climate change are least equipped to cope with its impacts and are at serious risk of being disproportionately burdened by State responses to climate change. CLM therefore believes that the Climate Action Plan 2023 must be aligned with law and science, and must adopt a human rights perspective, including the prioritisation of environmental democracy.

Our submission includes recommendations in relation to the built environment, public sector duty, just transition, public participation and access to justice.

We also highlight our concerns in relation to the obligation on the State to enable meaningful and effective public participation on this consultation; and note the absence of an overarching human rights framework applicable to policy and law reform consultations that ensures that such measures will be implemented in a human rights compliant manner and will mitigate against a disproportionate impact on specific groups who are experiencing a form of disadvantage.

Read our submission in full here.