On Monday 17 June, the Government published its Climate Action Plan 2019, which sets out its proposed policy measures for addressing the threat of climate change in Ireland.

The combined Environmental & Planning and Energy & Natural Resources teams at A&L Goodbody have analysed the legal and commercial impacts of the Climate Action Plan for businesses in Ireland. We have prepared a short summary of the Climate Action Plan's effects on a number of key sectors.

Please click the links below for further information on each sector.

[Climate Action Plan: Agriculture, Forestry and Land Use] [Climate Action Plan 2019: Construction and Housing] [Climate Action Plan 2019: Data Centres] [Climate Action Plan: Electricity & Renewables] [Climate Action Plan: Enterprise] [Climate Action Plan 2019: Offshore Wind] [Climate Action Plan: Transport] [Climate Action Plan Waste & the Circular Economy]

​The Climate Action Plan sets out the measures by which Ireland can reduce its emissions from sectors outside the EU's Emissions Trading System by 30% (relative to 2005 levels) by 2030.

The Climate Action Plan, which will be monitored quarterly and updated annually, sets out a number of ambitious environmental targets for Ireland to meet over the next 40 years. Most actions proposed are for implementation before 2030. This includes a move from 30% to 70% renewable energy by 2030 and the delivery of 950,000 electric cars by 2030. The 180+ actions contained in the Climate Action Plan also seek to:

  • Introduce five year carbon budgets
  • Implement a carbon rate of at least €80 per tonne by 2030
  • Reduce Ireland's reliance on fossil fuels by phasing out coal and peat burning plants
  • Reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill to 10% of all waste by 2035
  • Ban specific single use plastics and ensure all plastic packaging is reusable or recyclable by 2030
  • Reduce food waste by 50% by 2030; and
  • Phase out the installation of oil and gas boilers in new houses by 2022 and 2025 respectively.

In order to set up a governance structure to ensure the proper implementation of environmental measures against climate change, the Climate Action Plan provides for the establishment of several new institutions:

  • A Climate Action Delivery Board, under the Department of the Taoiseach, to report to Cabinet on the Climate Action Plan's implementation
  • A Just Transition Review Group within the National Economic and Social Council, to advise on the needs of groups who may be specially disadvantaged in the transition from fossil fuels
  • A Climate Action Council to recommend appropriate carbon budgets, monitor emissions reduction progress and evaluate Government policy; and
  • A Climate Action Office within the Oireachtas to provide independent advice to Parliament on climate issues.

Public bodies will be obliged to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings by 50%, adopt a Climate Action Mandate and adopt a near zero carbon investment strategy. The Climate Action Plan envisages environmental change being implemented by citizens, businesses and public bodies and will bring with it a range of challenges and opportunities.