Hogan announces another key milestone in the development of national climate policy

Following initial consideration by Government, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr. Phil Hogan, T.D., today (1 October 2012) released a policy analysis report from the Secretariat to the National Economic and Social Council – Towards a New National Climate Policy, reaching a further key milestone in the development of national climate policy and legislation.   The report, which is a key incremental step in the Programme for the development of national climate policy and legislation announced by the Minister in January 2012, is available on his Department’s website www.environ.ie.


Following the review of national climate policy in November 2011, the Government commissioned the independent analysis from the NESC Secretariat, which was requested to submit, by end June 2012, an interim report addressing policies and measures to close the distance to Ireland’s greenhouse gas mitigation targets already in place for the period 2013-20.  The second and final report, which is due to be submitted by the Secretariat by the end of the year, will focus on the development of a basis for a long-term socio-economic vision to underpin effective national transition to a low-carbon future by 2050.


Thanking the NESC Secretariat for their comprehensive report, Minister Hogan said “that it brought a complete and clear focus to both the significant greenhouse gas emission mitigation target which Ireland faces in the period to 2020, and the options to address both the challenges and opportunities of moving to a low-carbon future.  The Government will now be giving careful consideration to the report”.


Referring the report to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht, Minister Hogan reiterated the importance of the Committee’s role in the policy development process.  “As I’ve said previously”, the Minister emphasised, “I foresee a central role for the Joint Committee, most importantly on the critical issue of a clear national understanding of how we will meet our binding EU and wider-international mitigation commitments, as well as pursuing our national objectives in a low-carbon global economy”.


The policy development Programme includes a Government commitment to respond to the NESC Secretariat report, and for the Minister to release heads of a Climate Bill for consideration by the Oireachtas Committee and stakeholders, before the end of the year.  “Work across Departments on meeting these commitments will be coordinated by the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change and the Green Economy” Minister Hogan said.  He also confirmed that “progressing the national greenhouse gas mitigation agenda is a priority for Government on environmental and competitiveness grounds.  Future growth must be economically and environmentally sustainable if we are to become a leading society in a low-carbon world and a competitive player in the emerging global green economy” the Minister concluded.

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