News & Media

Supreme Court Judgement finds 2017 climate plan is inadequate

31 July 2020

Statement by Duncan Smith TD
Party Whip and Spokesperson on Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport.
Duncan Smith

The Supreme Court Judgement quashing the 2017 National Mitigation Plan for Climate Change highlights the lack of specific commitments in the plan according to Labour Spokesperson on Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport, Duncan Smith TD

Deputy Smith said: 

“The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015 was brought through the Oireachtas by Alan Kelly TD when he served as Minister for the Environment. It set out in detail how the state should transition to a low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy up to and including the year 2050.

“The Bill requires every government to prepare five-yearly National Mitigation Plans, the first of which was published by the previous Government under then Minister Denis Naughten in 2017. However, many of the measures announced in the 2017 Mitigation Plan were aspirational and did not meet the requirements of the 2015 law introduced by Alan Kelly because they were not specific enough to show how we can meet our 2050 commitments.

“Ireland is one of two European countries to miss our 2020 emission reduction targets and this judgement confirms what the Labour Party have been saying for a number of years, that the Government’s 2017 Mitigation Plan was lacking in specific commitments, including investment commitments, and focused almost entirely on low cost ‘soft options’.

“Under the 2017 plan, Ireland’s climate emissions have actually risen. Now the Supreme Court has rightly told the new Government that Labour’s 2015 law requires them to come up with a more robust plan.”

Deputy Smith continued: 

“Today’s judgement shows how the Government and in particular Fine Gael are failing us on Climate Change and that the 2017 Mitigation Plan was inadequate without enough specific substantive action and investment in infrastructure to action the Government’s commitments. Minister Eamon Ryan needs to set out in detail how he proposes to rectify this so that the State fulfils its obligations to its citizens under the 2015 Bill and this Supreme Court judgement.”