2018 Annual Transition Statement published by Minister Bruton

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton T.D., yesterday (Tuesday 4th of December) published the 2018 Annual Transition Statement. This Statement provides an overview of climate change mitigation and adaptation policy measures adopted across government to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and to adapt to the effects of climate change. It must be produced annually in accordance with the provisions of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act, 2015.

 

Announcing the publication of the Statement Minister Richard Bruton said:

 

“This Statement provides an important overview of how we are performing across the board. This information will be important as we develop our all of government plan to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change. While there is much to commend in the past year in terms of progress, we need to do more if we are to achieve our targets. I will be working with colleagues across all sectors to step up our response.”

 

The Minister recently secured government approval to develop an all of government plan to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change. This plan will include actions across the whole of government, to meet our climate change obligations and will be published early in the new year. The 2018 Statement being published today provides a good overview of where we are currently in relation to the implementation of climate change measures and will be important to setting targets in the new all of government plan.

 

Some of the key measures that have been taken in the past year to support Ireland in the transition away from carbon are:

  • The Government has committed almost €22bn to climate-related investment in the new National Development Plan, representing €1 in every €5 that will be spent on climate action between now and 2027
  • The first round of funding under the €500m Climate Action Fund was awarded. 7 major climate change projects will share €77 million in government funding, leveraging a total investment of €300 million in round one of the scheme
  • Ireland issued its first sovereign green bond, once of the first countries in the world to do so. This bond will broaden the funding base for Ireland’s debt and, in future, may even allow the financing of climate related expenditure at a lower rate of interest than other expenditures
  • The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment made regulations to increase the rate of biofuels in the transport fuel mix from 8% to 10% from the start of next year. This is estimated to lead to an additional 130,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions savings on a full year basis
  • Teagasc produced a key report on the opportunities for cost-effective emissions reduction from the Irish agriculture sector. Over the next decade, the report sets out the potential to reduce  agricultural emissions by 18.5 million tonnes
  • The Building Regulations are being amended to ensure all new houses built will have to meet the Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB)
  • The Government is strengthening the Public Spending Code to ensure that the carbon impacts are fully reflected when costing any public project
  • The Government has established four Climate Action Regional Offices to support local authorities in meeting their climate obligations

 

Published alongside the Statement this year for the first time are update reports on the implementation of the National Mitigation Plan and National Adaptation Framework, setting out, respectively:

 

  • An up to date list of policies and measures in place to reduce emissions in the four main sectors covered by the National Mitigation Plan: electricity generation, the built environment, transport and agriculture, forestry and land use;
  • Details on the implementation of actions committed to by Government Departments and other bodies under the 2017 National Mitigation Plan. At this stage 22 of 106 committed actions, which cover the five year period of the National Mitigation Plan, have now been completed. A further 14 new actions are being committed to for delivery in 2019; and
  • An update report on Sectoral Adaptation Plans, setting out progress to date in the development of sectoral plans in advance of the statutory deadline of September 2019.

 

 

Full statement published here

 

Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015

The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act, 2015, sets out a national transition objective to transition to a low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050.

 

Section 14 of the 2015 Act, provides that an Annual Transition Statement (ATS) must be presented to both Houses of the Oireachtas not later than 12 months after the passing of the Act and not later than each subsequent anniversary of such passing. This is the third Annual Transition Statement and is being presented to both Houses in line with the provisions of the Act.

 

The 2015 Act provides that the Annual Transition Statement must contain:

 

  • an overview of climate change mitigation and adaptation policy measures adopted to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and to adapt to the effects of climate change in order to enable the achievement of the ‘national transition objective’;
  • a record of greenhouse gas emissions set out in the most recent inventory prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);
  • a projection of future greenhouse gas emissions; and
  • a report on compliance with obligations of the State under EU law or an international agreement referred to in section 2 of the 2015 Act.

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