General Scheme Of The Climate Action (Amendment) Bill 2019


On Monday (6 January 2020), the Government published the Draft General Scheme of the Climate Action (Amendment) Bill 2019 (the “General Scheme”), which contains the proposed heads of amendment to the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 (the “Principal Act”). This update was co-authored by Isla Stewart, snior associate, and Freda McGeough, trainee, from Matheson's Corporate Department. The General Scheme contains 16 heads of amendment (“Heads”) that out how the Government intends to enshrine the Climate Action Plan into law and will be a priority piece of legislation for the Dáil term. A detailed summary of each of the heads contained in the General Scheme is provided below:

National Transition Objective (Heads 2 and 3): These Head sets out the principle for Ireland to have a net-zero climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050 (to be known as thenational transition objective) (the2050 target). The Government will be required under law to evidence its efforts and commitment to the Climate Action Plan through a national long-term climate strategy (theStrategy). As part of this, the Government will be obliged to prepare an adaptation framework (to ensure a timely and economic transition to the 2050 target), revisions to the Climate Action Plan (where necessary) and a series of carbon budgets. The 2050 target has not been set out yet in the General Scheme on the basis that the target will be subject to a consultation with the Climate Change Advisory Council and be subject to further research. The Strategy (see Head 3) will replace the process for developing and submitting a National Mitigation Plan but will retain much of the process currently provided in the Principal Act. It is envisaged that the first Strategy will be published for the period 2021 to 2035 and each subsequent Strategy will: detail the anticipated carbon budgets for the next 5 years; have a 15 year outlook; and include a longer term perspective of at least 30 years. The Strategy will be the Government's framework to achieve the 2050 target and will outline the specific policy measures that will be deployed and the sectoral mitigation measures that will be used. Each Strategy may be updated from time to time by the Government and the Government will be required to take into account a number of matters when setting the Strategy, such as sustainable development, economic opportunities, technical and scientific advice, and...

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