The Government of Ireland revealed their Climate Action Plan 2019 to tackle Climate Breakdown. The plan consist of 183 actions to support the government’s commitment to a “net zero carbon energy systems objective”.
The key features of this novel plan include a five-year Carbon Budget, sectoral targets with a detailed plan of actions to deliver them and a Climate Action Delivery Board overseen by the Department of the Taoiseach to ensure delivery. It also contains an independent Climate Action Council to recommend the Carbon Budget and evaluate policy, and strong accountability to an Oireachtas Climate Action Committee. Finally, it discusses how all Government decisions and major investments will consider carbon proofing.
In terms of environmental tax, the plan argues to update the motor and vehicle registration taxes in order to better account for emissions, it suggests ways to encourage electric vehicle use such as a “car-scrappage scheme” and the introduction of emissions tax for large goods vehicles. They also seek to equalize the cost of petrol and diesel. To encourage building renovation and foster sustainable infrastructure, they propose property taxes and stamp duties that will encourage a behavioral change.
The government plans, with other member states, to design an EU-wide tax on plastic packaging and to implement the EU ban on single-use plastic.
The plan also sets out goals for agriculture, landfill reliance, enterprise, electricity, waste and the Circular Economy. It highlights the importance of sustainability and inclusivity in governmental action; it deals with the issue of carbon pricing fairness, vowing to consider how governmental measures impact low-income groups and to work to ensure that burdens are allocated fairly.
The Climate Action Plan is available through the following link.