Ireland’s first Climate Council Report is a ‘serious wake up call’ say environmentalists

Published by Ian Carey on

November 4th 2016 

Ireland’s first ever Climate Council Report was released this week and it makes for harrowing reading.

Key findings include:

  • Ireland’s national goal of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions and carbon neutrality in agriculture will require “major societal and economic transformation”.
  • Ireland’s progress to reduce emissions they say are “at best mixed”. Adding that they are of “considerable concern”
  • The Council state that there is an “urgent need” to implement our current policies and come up with additional measures to return the economy to a sustainable path.

Friend of the Earth welcomed the report but said that it should come as a “serious wake-up call for the government.”

By the end of the year the government will have to respond to the council’s advice and publish its draft climate action plan.

In relation to our current targets the report states that our failure to meet the 2020 targets “represent a significant deviation from the necessary path to decarbonising the economy by 2050”.

Friends of the Earth Director, Oisin Coghlan, said:

“The Climate Council’s report is a serious wake-up call for Government. It says Ireland’s climate record is ‘mixed at best’, finds we’re not on track to meet our 2020 targets or on a path to a sustainable economy and calls for urgent action to turn things around”.

On specific sectors the report highlights the win-win potential of upgrading homes with health and cost-of-living benefits as well as emission reductions. The Council emphasizes that “progress in tackling transport emissions has been very limited” and highlights that “agriculture will need to outline a pathway to neutrality in 2050”.

Mr Coghlan continued:

“We campaigned for 8 years for an independent, expert, council to advise Government, in public, on its plans to tackle climate change. Does this report say everything Friends of the Earth would say? No. Does it fully capture the urgency if we are to fulfil the goals of the Paris Agreement? No. But this is a good day for transparent, evidence-based policy-making. The report is a serious-minded effort to frame the the climate action challenge for Government. We’ll see when the Government publishes its draft action plan are they up to that challenge.”

[x_button shape=”square” size=”regular” float=”none” href=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Click here to view the press release and Climate Council Report in full[/x_button]

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition is hosting conversations between TDs and constituents on the urgency of climate action in Buswells Hotel on Tuesday 15th November. Their 2-page briefing on what the Paris Agreement means for Ireland is online here:

[x_button shape=”square” size=”regular” float=”none” href=”″ info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Click here to view Stop Climate Chaos coalition’s 2-page briefing on what the Paris Agreement means for Ireland[/x_button]

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Ian Carey

Ian is the editor of the Green News. He works as Communications Manger with the Irish Environmental Network.