Motion passes calling for climate revision of National Development Plan

Published by Kayle Crosson on

June 14th, 2019

A motion in the Dail has passed calling for the National Development Plan (NDP) to be revised to ensure the State meets its 2030 emission targets.

The Social Democrats put forward the private member’s motion on Tuesday, imploring the government to overhaul public spending commitments to deliver meaningful actions on climate change.

An amendment proposed by Green Party leader Eamon Ryan passed for the revision of the NPD to ensure that the State meets its 2030 emission targets and achieves a net-zero emission economy by 2050.

Mr Ryan said that the Government previously “saw no need” to carry out a climate assessment of the plan prior to publication.

“We now know that it will result in a 70 per cent shortfall in meeting our emissions targets by 2030 even if every single measure in the plan were implemented,” he added.

The motion notes that since the publication of Project Ireland 2040, the Government’s long term development strategy, a climate emergency has been declared by the Dail and therefore, “significant revisions of the plan are required in order to deliver on this declaration”.

In addition to recognizing the severity of the climate crisis, the motion is also calling on the Government to better manage public finances and deliver meaningful action on public spending and investment.

Eamon Ryan interview Photo: The Green Party

Its passage must be a “wake-up call” for the Fine Gael cabinet, according to co-Social Democrats leader Catherine Murphy TD.

The government needs to do as this Dáil motion says and provide full details about exactly which projects earmarked under the National Development Plan will be delayed or cancelled due to a lack of funding as a result of Fine Gael’s spectacular failure to prudently manage the public finances,” Ms Murphy continued.

The National Development Plan has already been deemed by the European Commission as an inadequate measure to tackle rising emissions.

The Green Party had already called for a complete overhaul of the document in August following the then-Minister for Climate Action’s admission that current state policies to tackle rising emissions are failing.

Last May, the High Court granted leave to Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) to challenge the Irish Government’s adoption of Project Ireland 2040  on grounds of climate change concerns.

FIE argue that the environmental assessment in the plan is “inadequate” and might threaten “the future prosperity of [the] next generation”.

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Kayle Crosson

Kayle is a multimedia journalist focused on climate and environmental issues and contributes to The Irish Times and The Green News.