The government has published the General Scheme of the Climate Action and Low-Carbon Development Bill 2014. The full Bill is expected to be published before the summer, and become law by the end of the year.

The Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) states that:

"The ultimate objectives of the Bill are to enable Ireland to meet its legally binding non-ETS emissions reduction 2020 target (and any other new EU and international obligations) and to achieve transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy in the period up to and including the year 2050.

In order to achieve these ultimate objectives, the Bill’s immediate objectives are to:

  • provide for the adoption of a national low-carbon roadmap (every five years) and a national climate change adaptation framework which would:
    • articulate a vision for the transition to a 2050 emissions reduction scenario;
    • address all legally binding international obligations on the State;
    • incorporate sectoral elements for the purpose of achieving emissions reductions in the heaviest non-ETS emitting sectors (such as agriculture, transport, the built environment and energy); and
    • provide for climate adaptation planning.
  • provide for the establishment of a National Expert Advisory Body on Climate Change, to be supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, to advise and make recommendations in respect of the national low-carbon roadmap and national climate change adaptation framework;
  • provide clear accountability through an annual reporting mechanism to Dáil Éireann on progress made in transitioning to a low-carbon economy, including progress in relation to adaptation; and
  • provide for a duty on public bodies to have due regard to the national low-carbon roadmap and national climate change adaptation framework in performing their functions."

Minister Hogan announced yesterday that the chair of the 11-member Expert Advisory Body will be Professor Peter Clinch of UCD, who was an economic and environmental adviser to Taoiseach Brian Cowen during the previous government’s term.

Link to Press Release, draft Bill and RIA