Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015
The Act is Ireland's first framework piece of climate change legislation and lays the ground for transition towards a low carbon economy, to be achieved through a combination of the following:
- a national greenhouse gas mitigation plan
- a national adaptation framework
- specific sectoral adaptation plans
The main provisions of the Act include:
- The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government is responsible for producing and submitting for government approval both the national mitigation plan and the national adaptation framework, to be reviewed every 5 years; the first mitigation plan must be submitted not later than 10 June 2017, and the first adaptation framework must be submitted not later than 10 December 2017 (Articles 3 - 5).
- Appropriate ministries will be requested to formulate and submit sectoral adaptation plans.
- When formulating the national adaptation framework and sectoral plans, the government is required to take account of a number of factors, including: promoting sustainable development; achieving the objectives of a national adaptation framework at the least cost to the national economy; any recommendations or advice of the Expert Advisory Council.
- The establishment of an independent Climate Change Advisory Council on climate change. The heads of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Teagasc and the Economic and Social Research Institute are to be ex officio members of the Advisory Council. The Council is tasked with conducting an annual review of the progress made in achieving planned GHG emissions reductions, and furthering transition to a "low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy" (Article 8).
- The Minister of the Environment must produce annual statements on national transition, sectoral mitigation transition, and sectoral adaptation transition (Article 14).
Related litigation cases
An advocacy group, Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE), filed suit in the High Court, arguing that the Irish government’s approval of the National Mitigation Plan in 2017 violated Ireland’s Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 ("the Act"), the Constitution of Ireland, and obligat...
In April 2020, the Irish High Court dismissed a challenge to Ireland's National Planning Framework (NPF). The plaintiff Friends of the Irish Environment had argued, among other things, that the Government failed to properly analyze the NPF's impact on climate change. In February 2018 the Governme...