Policy Forum for Ireland

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Next steps for climate policy and action in Ireland - priorities for a Just Transition | sectoral support for meeting targets | addressing biodiversity loss | nature-based solutions to climate change

September 2023

Price: €176 PLUS VAT

This conference discussed priorities for climate policy and action in Ireland.

It was a timely opportunity to discuss next steps for taking forward Ireland’s third Climate Action Plan (CAP), published shortly after COP27, which provides for a system change in Ireland’s approach to climate policy.

Areas for discussion included the development of renewable energy, including offshore wind farms and expansion of the solar sector, as well as the retrofitting of homes and businesses.

Delegates examined the targets outlined in the CAP, which are underpinned by legislation outlined in the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021, with legally-binding sectoral emissions ceilings and carbon budgets, the first being to 2025.

Key stakeholders came together to assess what support is needed for key sectors to stay within the emissions ceilings, looking at funding priorities, R&D and key infrastructure development, as well as what is needed to stay within the maximum emissions outlined in the carbon budget, as Ireland is currently not on course to meet targets.

It was also an opportunity for delegates to discuss wider EU policy, such as Just Transition and the European Green Deal, and the implications for Irish business and industry, including enabling knowledge sharing in the meeting of shared goals, specifically Ireland’s roadmap to halving emissions by 2030, and becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Further sessions assessed the way forward for nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, looking at developing and investing in technological and innovative solutions, as well as key priorities for mitigating and addressing biodiversity loss in light of the Citizens' Assembly report, which emphasised the need for urgent government action on biodiversity restoration.

We are pleased to have been able to include a keynote session with Marie Donnelly, Chair, Climate Change Advisory Council.

Overall, sessions in the agenda discussed:

  • meeting key targets: maintaining the carbon budget - supporting business and industry in adopting more sustainable approaches - improving climate education and advocacy
  • facilitating a Just Transition: diversifying local economies - delivering an inclusive approach to climate action - options for circular economy development - adopting more sustainable economic approaches
  • engaging citizens: engaging the public in climate action and advocacy - raising awareness of the potential benefits and necessities of climate action - developing a joined-up approach to meeting targets
  • key sectors: support across sectors in working within emissions ceilings - building sustainable practice - opportunities for decarbonising transport - priorities for scaling up renewable energy infrastructure
  • wider EU policy: implementing targets laid out in the European Green Deal - priorities for a Just Transition - implementing a worker-friendly shift to a low carbon economy
  • policy priorities: taking forward the CAP - developing effective governance of climate action to meet targets - assessing the pathway to halving emissions by 2030

The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from DAERA, NI; DAFM; DECC; Department for Communities, NI; Department for Infrastructure, NI; Department for the Economy, NI; Department of Finance, NI; DETE; FCDO, UK; The Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government.

This on-demand pack includes

  • A full video recording of the conference as it took place, with all presentations, Q&A sessions, and remarks from chairs
  • An automated transcript of the conference
  • Copies of the slides used to accompany speaker presentations (subject to permission
  • Access to on-the-day materialfs, including speaker biographies, attendee lists and the agenda