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18/04/2019

Cross-party parliamentary report calls for climate change action in Ireland

Words: Roger Milne
Hedgerow conservation included in Irish climate action plan / Stock-174771967

The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action has formally launched a landmark report designed to frame climate policy in Ireland for the next 15 years.

The report calls for new legislation to set ambitious climate and renewable electricity targets. It will require five-year carbon budgets to be devised by a new Climate Action Council (which will supersede the existing Climate Change Advisory Council).

Environmental groups have welcomed the report, which recommends more energy-efficient buildings and measures to boost public transport.

The groups have backed proposals supporting the restoration, rehabilitation and rewetting of all peatlands; the preparation of a national hedgerow conservation strategy and measures supporting carbon storage including a focus on planting native trees.

The report calls for an independent review of Coillte, the state-owned forestry agency, to ensure that its large public land bank is managed in a climate-resilient manner.

The committee signed off the report last month following late deliberations over carbon tax measures that are politically very sensitive.

Ministers are under mounting pressure to act more decisively over climate change. Earlier this week the EU’s leading climate change non-governmental organisation Climate Action Network (CAN) highlighted that the Irish state’s latest blueprint for combatting global warning was “way off track” in meeting targets.

Image credit | iStock

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