Ireland’s first National Mitigation Plan on climate change was published on the 19th July this year and represents a huge initial step to set Ireland on a pathway to achieve the level of decarbonisation required and transition to a low carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050. This is a very important first step by the Irish government in what will be a long journey with many different and complex elements to consider along the way.
RPS carried out the Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessment of the National Mitigation Plan on behalf of the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment. The Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessment were critical inputs to the development of the plan. Both documents ensured that environmental concerns were integrated into the decision-making and implementation process at both sectoral and national level.
Some of the proposals within the plan include:
To reduce motorway speed limits from 120km/h to 110km/h for cars and from 90km/h to 80 km/h for heavy goods vehicles
Decarbonising Electricity Generation
Electrification of the rail line to Balbriggan
Further incentives for low-emission vehicles (including electric vehicles)
Continuation of Agricultural Decarbonisation Measures
To support this ongoing work, the Plan includes over 100 individual actions for various ministers and public bodies to take forward in the move to implementation of what will be a living document. Importantly, the Irish government recognises that this first Plan does not provide a complete roadmap to achieve the 2050 objective, but begins the process of development of medium to long term mitigation choices for the next and future decades.