This country is a member of the European Union, so data from the NDC submitted by the EU on behalf of its members is being displayed. For further information about the EU's NDC, legislation, and targets, please see the EU profile.

Fossil Fuel Divestment Act 2016 ( 2018 )

This law commits Ireland's national treasury to divesting its Strategic Investment Fund entirely from fossil fuels within five years after the passage of the law. Specifically, it compels the national treasury to (1) ensure that its assets are not directly invested in a fossil fuel undertaking and divest from fossil fuel undertakings as soon as…read more

Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 ( 2015 / Mitigation and adaptation Framework )

The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act provides for the approval of plans by the Government in relation to climate change for the purpose of pursuing the transition to a low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy; to establish a body to be known as the National Expert Advisory Council on Climate Change;…read more

Finance Act 1992 – as amended by Finance Act (No. 1) of 2013 ( 2013 )

The Finance (No. 1) Act 2013 amended the Finance Act 1992 to further increase the differential between motor cars with lower CO2 emissions and those with higher CO2 emissions, by means of Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT). The rates and CO2 bands applying to motor cars are as follows: • 0g/km up to and including 80g/km…read more

Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2012, Number 3 of 2012 ( 2012 )

The Act contains a host of provisions relating to the Energy Act, including the creation of an Energy Efficiency Fund and a mechanism by which enforceable requirements may be placed on energy providers. The Fund aims to support and improve energy efficiency improvement programmes, promote the development of a market for energy efficiency improvement measures,…read more

Energy (Biofuel Obligation and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2010 (No. 11 of 2010) of the National Oil Reserves Agency Act 2007 (No.7 of 2007) ( 2010 )

The Act introduces a Biofuel Obligation to help Ireland accord with the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive that requires all Member States to have 10% of their transport energy as renewable by 2020. The obligation encourages use of biofuels and is intended to boost the biofuels sector by providing it with certainty of investment and growth…read more

Carbon Fund Act 2007, Number 12 of 2007 ( 2007 )

The Act creates a Carbon Fund to enable the acquisition by the State of Kyoto Units in order to meet international targets following the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Carbon Fund is to be managed and directed by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government while its day to day administration is to be…read more

Sustainable Energy Act Number 2 of 2002 ( 2002 )

This Act amends the Gas Act of 1976, Electricity Regulation Act of 1999, and it establishes the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) as the main actor whereby the functions of this Act are assigned to. The functions of the SEAI are: • To promote and assist environmentally and economically sustainable production, supply and use…read more

Motor Vehicle (Duties and Licences) Act, no 22/2001 and no 9/2013 ( 2001 )

The Act amended and extended the Finance (Exercise Duties) (Vehicles) Act 1952, the Road Traffic Act 1961 and the Finance (No.2) Act 1992, in order to implement duties and licences leviable or issuable. The vehicles were classified in to groups (and classified within according to capacities) and different rates of duty applied accordingly: • Vehicles…read more

Electricity Regulation Act, Number 23 of 1999 ( 1999 )

The Electricity Regulation Act established the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER). It gives the Commission the power to grant licences to generate and supply electricity, the power to grant authorisations for the construction of generating stations; and provides for the access to the transmission or distribution system by licence holders, holders of authorisations and eligible…read more

This country is a member of the European Union, so data from the NDC submitted by the EU on behalf of its members is being displayed. For further information about the EU's NDC, legislation, and targets, please see the EU profile.

National Adaptation Framework ( 2018 / Adaptation Framework )

Ireland's first statutory National Adaptation Framework (NAF) was released on January 19th, 2018. The NAF sets out the national strategy to reduce the vulnerability of the country to the negative effects of climate change and to avail of positive impacts. The NAF was developed under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 and succeeds to…read more

National Development Plan 2018-2027 ( 2018 )

The National Development Plan is broad document setting the Government's policy vision over the period 2018-2027. It includes a chapter on the transition to a low carbon and climate resilient society. The Government pledges to invest €22 billion in order to reach an almost zero emissions economy by 2050. The funds are to be primarily deployed to…read more

National Mitigation Plan ( 2017 / Mitigation and adaptation Framework )

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment published the National Mitigation Plan in July 2017. The "whole-of-Government" Plan aims at setting Ireland on a decarbonisation pathway to 2050. The Plan further includes 100 actions for various Ministers and public bodies to implement its strategy. The Government recognises that this document does not constitute a…read more

Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future 2015-2030 ( 2015 )

This White Paper is a complete energy policy update, which sets out a framework to guide policy between now and 2030. Its objective is to guide a transition to a low carbon energy system, which provides secure supplies of competitive and affordable energy to our citizens and businesses. Ireland’s energy policy addresses three core objectives:…read more

Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan ( 2014 )

The Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP) and its accompanying Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Appropriate Assessment (AA) established a framework for the sustainable development of Ireland’s offshore renewable energy resource. The OREDP sets out the broader context for the development of Ireland’s offshore wind and ocean renewable energy sectors, and the current state of…read more

The National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) – 4th version 2017-2020 ( 2014 )

Ireland’s third NEAAP sets out the energy efficiency measures by sector in Ireland that will contribute towards the national energy efficiency 2020 target. The NEAAP identifies a number of measures which can lead to a reduction in annual emissions of around 7.3Mt, representing an estimated energy saving of 31,955GWh. The NEAAP confirms Ireland’s commitment to…read more

Smarter Travel – A Sustainable Transport Future: A New Transport Policy for Ireland 2009-2020 ( 2009 )

This document reflects the government’s vision and required measures to have a sustainable transport system by 2020. It sets out below five goals: • To reduce overall travel demand • To maximize the efficiency of the transport network • To reduce reliance on fossil fuels • To reduce transport emissions • To improve accessibility to…read more

Energy White Papers on “Delivering a Sustainable Energy Future for Ireland? : The Energy Policy Framework 2007-2020” ( 2007 )

This document is a practical, action-based to achieve a new, sustainable energy future for Ireland. This White Paper was informed by the outcome of the consultation process on the Government’s Green Paper on Energy Policy, where over 100 submissions were received and discussions with key stakeholders were held. The White Paper calls for four objectives:…read more

This country is a member of the EU and so EU NDC data is being displayed.

Economy-wide

NDC Laws and National Policies

The European Union and its 28 Member States submitted a joint NDC: at least 40% domestic reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 compared to 1990.

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 1990

Source: NDC

Reductions in the ETS and non-ETS sectors amounting to 43% and 30% by 2030 compared to 2005 by 2030 against a 2005 baseline (collective EU target)

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2005 | Source(s): 2030 frame... (2014 / Executive)

At least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 by 2030 against a 1990 baseline

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): 2030 frame... (2014 / Executive)

Reducing by 2050 GHG emissions by 80–95 % by 2050 against a 1990 baseline

Economy Wide | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2050 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): Decision N... (2013 / Legislative)

Maximum quantity of hydrofluorocarbons to be placed on the market and corresponding quotas by 2015, 2030

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2015 | Source(s): Fluorinate... (2014 / Legislative)

In 2020, the target is for the emissions from the ETS sectors to be 21% lower than in 2005

Economy Wide | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Reduction of EU GHG emissions by at least 30% below 1990 levels by 2020

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Zero or negative emissions by 2100

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2100 | Base year: 2100 | Source(s): Energy Whi... (2007 / Executive)

80-95% cut in GHG emissions by 2050 compared with a 1990 baseline

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2050 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): Energy Whi... (2007 / Executive)

In order to reduce GHG emissions by 80-95% by 2050, fossil fuels would account for 19-30% of energy demand in Ireland by 2020 compared with a 2015 baseline

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2015 | Source(s): Ireland’... (2015 / Executive)

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Source(s):

Energy

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

20% of EU energy consumption to come from renewable resources by 2020

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

An EU target of at least 27% is set for the share of renewable energy consumed in the EU by 2030

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): 2030 frame... (2014 / Executive)

An indicative target at the EU level of at least 27% is set for improving energy efficiency in 2030 compared to projections of future energy consumption based on the current criteria by 2030 against a 2014 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): 2030 frame... (2014 / Executive)

On 30 November 2016 the Commission proposed an update to the Energy Efficiency Directive, including a new 30% energy efficiency target for 2030 by 2030 against a 1990 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Energy distributors or retail energy sales companies have to achieve 1.5% energy savings per year through the implementation of energy efficiency measures by 2020 against a 2009 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

20% reduction in primary energy use compared with projected levels, by improving energy efficiency by 2020 against a 2009 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Obligated energy distributors and/or retail energy sales companies achieve a cumulative end-use energy savings target by 31 December 2020 at least equivalent 1.5% a year from 2014 to 2020 of the annual energy sales to final customers of all energy distributors or all retail energy sales companies by volume, averaged over the most recent 3-year period prior to 2013 by 2020 against a 2012 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2012 | Source(s): Energy Eff... (2012 / Legislative)

The Union’s 2020 energy consumption has to be no more than 1 474 Mtoe of primary energy or no more than 1 078 Mtoe of final energy by 2020 against a 2012 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2012 | Source(s): Energy Eff... (2012 / Legislative)

Union’s 2020 20% headline target on energy efficiency by 2020 against a 2012 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2012 | Source(s): Energy Eff... (2012 / Legislative)

The biofuels and bio-liquids should contribute to a reduction of at least 35% of GHG emissions. From 2017, their share in emissions savings should be increased to 50% by 2020

Biofuels | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Ireland’s 2020 renewable energy target is to increase the share of national energy consumption made up of renewable energy sources (RES) to 16%. This target is broken into three key sectors with individual targets for each sector: 40% of electricity supply (RES-E), 12% of heating (RES-H), and 10% of transport (RES-T) by 2020 against a 2015 baseline

Renewable Energy | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2015 | Source(s): Ireland’... (2015 / Executive)

16% renewable of total energy consumed by 2020

Renewable Energy | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2020 | Source(s): Energy Whi... (2007 / Executive)

40% elecricity from renewables by 2020

Renewable Energy | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2020 | Source(s): Offshore R... (2014 / Executive)

20% energy efficiency improvement (31,925 GWh saved energy) by 2020 against a 2009 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): The Nation... (2014 / Executive), Energy Whi... (2007 / Executive)

33% energy efficiency improvement in public sector by 2020 against a 2009 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): The Nation... (2014 / Executive)

(GHG) emissions from the energy sector will be reduced by between 80% and 95%, compared to 1990 levels, by 2050, and will fall to zero or below by 2100 by 2050, 2100 against a 2015 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2100 | Base year: 2015 | Source(s): Ireland’... (2015 / Executive)

Transportation

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

Biofuel GHG emissions must be >35% lower than the fossil fuel they are replacing by 2017, 2018 against a 2015 baseline

Biofuels | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2018 | Base year: 2015 | Source(s): Fuel Quali... (2009 / Legislative)

Manufacturer's average emissions to be reduced yearly by 2014-2020 against a 2011 baseline

General | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2011 | Source(s): Emission p... (2011 / Legislative)

Increasing aircraft fuel efficiency, thus reducing CO2 emissions by 20 to 30 % compared to ‘state-of-the-art’ aircraft entering into service as from 2014 by 2020

General | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): Clean Sky ... (2007 / Legislative)

Reduce CO2 emissions by 50% and NOx by 80% by 2020 against a 2007 baseline

General | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2007 | Source(s): Clean Sky ... (2007 / Legislative)

Reducing the GHG intensity of fuels used in vehicles for transportation by 10% by 2020 against a 2009 baseline

General | Intensity Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): Fuel Quali... (2009 / Legislative)

Average emissions of 95 g CO2/km as average emissions for the new car fleet, in accordance with Article 13(5) by 2020

General | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): Emission p... (2009 / Legislative)

At least 10% share of renewables in final energy consumption in the transportation sector by 2020

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Average emissions of 147 gCO2/km for the average emissions of new light commercial vehicles registered in the Union subject to confirmation of its feasibility, as specified in Article 13(1) by 2020

General | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2011 | Source(s): Emission p... (2011 / Legislative)

The specific emissions of CO2 of each light commercial vehicle which is designed to be capable of running on a mixture of petrol with 85% bioethanol (‘E85’), and which complies with relevant Union legislation or European technical standards, shall be reduced by 5% by 2015

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2015 | Base year: 2011 | Source(s): Emission p... (2011 / Legislative)

10% transport energy from renewable by 2020

Renewable Energy | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2020 | Source(s): Smarter Tr... (2009 / Executive), Energy Whi... (2007 / Executive)

Buildings

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

Every year, governments in EU countries must carry out energy efficient renovations on at least 3% (by floor area) of the buildings they own and occupy by 2020 against a 2009 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Agriculture

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Coastal Zones

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Cross-Cutting Area

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Disaster Risk Management (DRM)

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Environment

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Health

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Industry

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

LULUCF

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Social Development

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Tourism

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Urban

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Waste

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Water

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, Ireland committed to limit the increase in emissions in the 2008-2012 commitment period to 13% above 1990 levels. Under the 2009 EU Effort Sharing Decision, Ireland’s GHG emissions in non-ETS sectors (transport, agriculture, heating in buildings, waste and small industry) are required to be 20% below 2005 levels by 2020. The Department of the Environment Community and Local Government (DECLG) is responsible for climate change policy. A Cabinet Committee on Climate Change and the Green Economy is chaired by the Prime Minister and includes Ministers of the DECLG; Energy, Communications and Natural Resources; Agriculture, Food and the Marine; and Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. The Committee is supported by a Senior Officials Group. In March 2014 Ireland submitted its Sixth National Communication to the UNFCCC.

The National Climate Change Strategy (2007-2012), building on the first National Climate Change Strategy (2000), set out a framework for action to reduce GHG emissions. The Framework for Climate Change Bill published in 2009 provided for a statutory obligation on the Minister to propose a National Climate Change Strategy on a 5-year cycle and to review the previous strategy at the end of this time.  The current Programme for Government also envisaged the passing of climate legislation to “provide certainty surrounding government policy and provide a clear pathway for emissions reductions, in line with negotiated EU2020 targets”.

A Review of National Climate Policy was published in 2011, followed by an extensive consultation process. In 2013, a study by the Secretariat of the National Economic and Social Council was published, entitled “Ireland and the Climate Change Challenge: Connecting ‘How much’ with ‘How to’”. This study provided a longer-term agenda for climate policy, focussing on developing a socio-economic vision to underpin effective national transition to a low-carbon future by 2050 and defining the building blocks to help achieve this vision.

Following these studies, Ireland continued developing the basis of its National Low Carbon Roadmap, which will map out the scale of the challenge. In 2013 the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht considered the draft legislation and submitted a report on its findings to the DECLG. Final heads of the Bill were published in April 2014. The legislation allows for the creation of a national expert body on climate change to advise the government on the transition process and to place responsibilities on various Ministers to contribute draft Sectoral Plans and report against progress.

Energy supply

Ireland is highly dependent on external energy supply. Since the mid-1990s import dependency has grown due to an increase in energy use and a decline in indigenous natural gas production and decreasing peat production. In 2006 Ireland’s overall import dependency reached 90%, falling slightly to 88% in 2011 thanks to the growing use of renewables.

The current energy policy framework was established by the 2007 White Paper “Delivering a Sustainable Energy Future for Ireland”, the country’s first comprehensive energy policy document. It established measures to reduce GHG emissions and energy costs by promoting efficient energy use and directly contributing to security of energy supply, sustainable transport, affordable energy, competitiveness and environmental sustainability.

In renewable energy, Ireland is required by EU rules to derive 16% of gross final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. To contribute to the target, Ireland aims to achieve 40% renewable electricity penetration by 2020 with 12% renewable consumption in the heat sector and 10% in transport. The IEA has labelled the renewable electricity target as one of the most ambitious in the world. At the end of 2012, 19.6% of electricity was generated from renewable energy sources, 5.2% in renewable heat, and 2.3% in renewable transport.

The 2012-2020 Strategy for Renewable Energy sets out five strategic goals: increase onshore and offshore wind; build a sustainable bioenergy sector; foster R&D in renewables such as wave and tidal; grow sustainable transport; and build out robust and efficient networks. To support this strategy, there are two Renewable Energy Feed-In-Tariff (REFIT) schemes. The REFIT 2 scheme applies to onshore wind, small hydro and landfill gas. The REFIT 3 scheme applies to biomass technologies.

The 2010 National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) demonstrates how EU renewable targets for electricity, transport and heating will be met. The 2012 Integrated Marine Plan (“Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth”) puts in place an integrated system of policy planning for marine affairs including renewable energy. The 2014 Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan provides a framework for the sustainable development of offshore renewable energy. In October 2014 the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources published a draft National Bioenergy Plan for 2014-2020, following on from a previous action plan which covered the 2007-2013 period.

The 2007 White Paper is also being revised. In May 2014 the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources published “Energy Policy in Ireland”. This Green Paper aims to stimulate a national discussion on the new vision for energy policy, using the 2007 White Paper as a starting point. The next White Paper on Energy Policy should provide a vision of a sustainable energy system and the policy framework needed to achieve it. Drafting of the next White Paper will begin in the first quarter of 2015 with a view to publication by September 2015.

Energy demand

Energy demand fell 18% between 2007 and 2012, driven largely by the downturn in economic activity and gains in energy efficiency. Ireland has challenging targets to improve energy efficiency by 20% nationally and 33% in the public sector by 2020, set out in the 2007 Energy Policy Framework and further detailed in the first National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP). The third NEEAP was published in 2014 and sets out the actions that will be taken to achieve this goal, focusing on: public sector, business, residential, energy supply, research and development, and cross-sectoral actions.

For buildings, new regulations are due to be published in 2015 that should result in a minimum improvement of 40% in performance standards over 2008 requirements. The first national renovation strategy ‘Better Buildings’ sets out the strategy to mobilise investment in renovating the national building stock. The Better Energy Programme was launched in 2011 and brought three existing programmes (Home Energy Savings Scheme, Warmer Homes Scheme and Greener Homes Scheme) under one umbrella.

In 2013 the government committed EUR35m (USD43.9m) as seed capital for investment in a newly established Energy Efficiency Fund (EEF) with a view to expanding the fund to over EUR70m (USD87.8m) when matched with investment from the private sector.  The fund, which aims to kick start activity on non-domestic renovation by providing accessible and appropriately priced finance, was launched in 2014 and has already made several investments.

The National Energy Services Framework (NESF), published in 2013, makes energy efficiency projects investment-ready by creating standard reference materials including technical evaluation, procurement advice and model contracts to bring energy suppliers and clients together under an agreed set of protocols.

The promotion of energy-efficient appliances and equipment is regulated through the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling directives. A market surveillance programme is in place to ensure that only products that meet the specified energy efficiency criteria are available on the market.

An Accelerated Capital Allowance (ACA) Scheme for Energy Efficient Equipment (Triple E) encourages businesses to invest in efficient equipment. The scheme allows companies to deduct the full cost of approved equipment from taxable profits in the year of purchase rather than over the usual 8-year period. The scheme has over 10,000 eligible products and it is estimated that up to 85% of a company’s equipment procurement needs can be sourced through the ACA.

In the public sector, energy efficiency is being promoted through partnerships (public bodies commit to implementing a structured energy management programme, purchasing obligations and annual reporting), sharing of best practices, procurement and funding, as well as monitoring and reporting. The government is also planning to launch a public sector action plan on energy efficiency that will detail how the 33% public sector target for 2020 will be met, report on progress and outline new actions required to achieve the target. Particular areas for attention will include energy use in buildings, public lighting, water and transport. It will also examine the potential for large scale renovation works in each of the various categories of public sector buildings.

REDD+ and LULUCF

Agriculture accounts for the largest share of the country’s GHG emissions, 32.3% of total emissions in 2013, as opposed to the average of less than 10% within the EU. Deforestation is estimated to have averaged circa 1200 ha per year between 2008 and 2012, based on latest estimates from the second phase of the National Forest Inventory and data to be submitted to the UNFCCC for inventory year 2012.

The 2011 Programme for Government commits to the development of the forestry and bio-energy sector through the creation of a new state company called BioEnergy and an annual 14,700 ha afforestation programme. It also proposes the establishment of Bioenergy Ireland, a biomass joint venture between Bord Na Mona (relating to peatland) and Coillte (relating to forestry) to procure biomass.

Transport

Transport emissions accounted for approximately 19% of total national emissions in 2005, equivalent to an increase by 160% between 1990 and 2005. By 2011, activities associated with transport produced 27% of non-ETS emissions. According to the last National Communication submitted to the UNFCCC, the key policies in transport that have resulted in emissions reductions relative to the baseline are: encouraging lower CO2 emission cars in the national fleet; the biofuels obligation scheme; and the introduction of a carbon tax.

To encourage lower CO2 emission cars, the government rebalanced the Vehicle Registration Tax (through the Finance Act 2008) and Motor Taxation rates (Motor Vehicle (Duties and Licences) Act 2008), and established more visible emission labelling. In 2013, a revised banding structure was introduced for both Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) and motor tax splitting the lowest CO2 Band A (1-120g/km) into four and Band B (121-140g/km) into two.  A zero emissions band for electric vehicles was also introduced for motor tax only. Reliefs from VRT are provided in respect of electric vehicles, plug-in electric hybrid vehicles, electric hybrid vehicles, and electric motorcycles. The changes have led to the percentage of motor cars registered emitting between 0 and 120 grams of CO2 per kilometre rising from 9% of the total in 2009 to over 68% of the total in 2014.

The biofuels obligation scheme commenced in 2010, and is administered by the National Oil Reserves Agency. The initial rate of the obligation was 4% by volume, increasing to 6% by volume in 2013. A carbon tax of EUR15/tonne (USD18.82) was introduced in 2009, initially on liquid-based fuels for transport, and later extended to liquid fuels for space and water heating in buildings. The rate was increased to EUR20/tonne (USD25.10) in 2011 for transport fuels, in 2012 for liquid fuels for space and water heating, and since May 2014 it applies to all fuels.

The government also considers electric vehicles as an important way to reduce energy consumption in transport, reduce fossil fuel imports and provide additional demand to balance the supply of variable renewable generation. The 2011 Electric Vehicle Roadmap commits to increasing electric vehicles (EVs) to 10% of the transport fleet (private passenger cars) by 2020, growing to 60% by 2050 in the medium scenario.  While the medium term target is still in place, the 10% target of 230,000 EVs by 2020 has been revised downwards to 50,000 to take account of slower than anticipated demand in recent years.

Adaptation

The National Climate Change Adaptation Framework, published in 2012, provides the policy context for a strategic national adaptation response to climate change and is designed to evolve over time as planning and implementation progresses, and as further evidence becomes available. A two-phase approach has been taken; phase one is concerned with building the knowledge base; and the second phase involves the development and implementation of sectoral and local adaptation plans.

During phase one, progress has been heavily dependent on scientific data and outputs provided primarily by the EPA’s Climate Change Research Programme and others such as Met Éireann, Marine institute, DAFM, CoFoRD, OPW and National Universities. Relevant recent outputs include the 2012 Status of Ireland’s Climate report; the 2013 Ireland’s Climate the Road Ahead report; the 2013 Hydrodetect Project, and the 2012 Phenology study. Work on sectoral adaptation plans is on-going.

The EPA has been working on the development of guidelines for the integration of adaptation into local level planning, with a final set of guidelines due to be available for publication in early 2015.  It’s intended that these guidelines will be included in any updating of the statutory Planning Guidelines on Development Plans.  As local authorities review their development plans in the normal cycle, the local development plan will also be the ‘de facto’ local adaptation plan.

The General Scheme of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2014 envisages that the Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government shall, not later than 24 months after the passing of the Bill, submit to the government a national climate change adaptation framework.  The framework will set out the policies to ensure adaptation measures are taken at a sectoral and local level, with a review at least once every five years.

Friends of the Irish Environment v. Ireland (Opened in 2018 )

Citation/reference number: Not available
Jurisdiction: Ireland
Core objective(s): Whether Ireland’s National Mitigation Plan violated statutory law, the Irish Constitution, and human rights obligations because it is not set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently over the next few decades.
Current status: open

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 Constitution of Ireland, and human rights obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights, particularly the…read more

Friends of the Irish Environment CLG v. Fingal County Council (Opened in 2017 )

Citation/reference number: 2017 No.344 JR
Jurisdiction: Ireland
Core objective(s): Applicability of a constitutional right to the environment and public participation requirements to granting a five-year extension of a planning permission for an airport runway
Current status: closed

Friends of the Irish Environment challenged the Fingal County Council’s decision to issue a five-year extension to the Dublin Airport Authority for their planning permission to construct a new runway. The court declined to grant any of the relief sought by plaintiffs because they failed to assert a viable claim for standing. However, in a…read more

An Taisce v. An Bord Pleanála (High Court of Ireland 2015) (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: [2015] IEHC 633
Jurisdiction: Ireland
Core objective(s): Appeal of planning authority grant of permission to operate power plant without first considering impacts of extracting feedstock
Current status: Decided

An Taisce and Friends of the Irish Environment, Ltd., challenged An Bord Pleanála’s approval of Edenderry Power Ltd.’s application to extend operation of its peat- and biomass-burning power plant from 2015 to 2023. Bord Na Móna Allen Peat Limited and others engaged in peat extraction and transport were also parties to the case. At issue…read more

The Republic of Ireland is a parliamentary democracy with a bicameral legislature. The National Parliament consists of the President and two Houses: the House of Representatives (Lower), and the Senate (Upper). The functions and powers of each body derive from the 1937 constitution.

A general election must be held at least once every five years. Because the constitution specifies that there must be at least one deputy for every 20,000 to 30,000 people, the number of deputies elected varies with the country’s demographic data, registered in the census every five years. The last election was held in February 2016. The next election is expected in 2021. Elections of the Senate are held within 90 days of the dissolution of the House of Representatives. The Senate has 60 Members, 43 elected by five panels representing vocational interests, six elected by the graduates of the National University of Ireland and the University of Dublin and 11 nominated by the Prime Minister.

Proposed laws, known as bills, move through each chamber of the National Parliament before coming into force as Acts. There are five stages to forming legislation. The first stage involves the initiation of bills. With three exceptions, bills can be initiated in either House, although traditionally bills begin in the House of Representatives. The exceptions are bills related to finance and amendment of the Constitution, which may only be initiated in the House of Representatives, and private bills, which may only come from the Senate. In the second stage the content of the bill is discussed, although no amendments to the text may be made at this point. If successful, in the third stage, the bill undergoes a more detailed examination and a legislative committee proposes amendments. The fourth stage involves a review of the amendments from stage three, but not a re-examination of the rest of the bill. The fifth and final stage of forming legislation involves a debate around the desirability of enacting the finalised bill. If the bill successfully passes through each stage, it is sent to the other House (usually from Lower to Upper Houses) where the process is repeated from stage two onwards. Amendments are then sent back and considered by the initiating House. Amendments may be agreed to, rejected or themselves amended. Once the bill has passed through both houses, the President brings it into force as an Act by signing it. The President cannot veto a bill that both chambers have adopted, although he or she may refer it to the Supreme Court to test its constitutionality. If the Supreme Court upholds the bill, the President must sign it.

Policies or measures are subject to oversight to ensure they are well-designed and cost-effective. Any policy involving spending more than EUR20m (USD25.1m), or any “innovative” policy with Exchequer implications over EUR5m (USD6.3m) should be subject to cost benefit analysis or cost effectiveness analysis. Taxation measures are considered by a Tax Strategy Group before each annual budget. Any proposal requiring legislation is subject to Regulatory Impact Analysis. Those requiring primary legislation are subject to scrutiny by the Parliament before being enacted.

There is another form of legislation known as a Statutory Instrument, a form of delegated, secondary legislation where Parliament passes its law-making powers to other bodies. Statutory Instruments include, for example, ministerial orders or regulations made to implement European Union law.

Last modified 22 August, 2017